Monday, August 18, 2014

Flood!

1. 8-13-14 rainy day Like most of the East Coast, we had a rainy day on Wednesday, August 13th. I watched the images of flooded streets on the news all day, being thankful I did not have to deal with that. But I was wrong. We lost power at 8:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday. I called the power company at 8:40 PM to report the outage, and then waited. Gus went to bed, and I listened to the rain as it pounded the house. What started as a gentle rain earlier in the day was now a deluge. Though our house sits up on the crest of the hill, there is still a lot of run-off and there is a French drain and sump pump system in the basement of this house to deal with it all. The landlord even installed a back-up battery for when the power fails to keep the basement dry. When the power was still out at midnight, I was concerned, but I checked the basement before going to bed and all was well, so I went to bed and fell into a restless sleep. At 4:30 the next morning I woke up as Gus was leaving for work. We were still without power and, as he drove out of the driveway I heard an ominous sound in the basement. I opened the door to see water already 3 inches deep on the floor! I immediately called Gus and asked him to return to help me, as I could not deal with this on my own. Then I called the landlord. Next, I donned my tall rubber boots and headed down into the basement to see what I could save!

2. 8-14-14 bird seed Once Gus arrived we moved out as much stuff as we could off the floor. Then all we could do was wait for the landlord to arrive with a generator. The wind had blown so hard it blew my bird feeder open and all the seed got wet. With hungry birds calling form the trees, I went and dumped the wet seed and refilled feeders.

3. 8-14-14 blue skies I searched the blue sky for a rainbow, but could not find one.

 

4. 8-14-14 sump pump Once the generator was hooked up to the sump pump the water rapidly drained.

 

5. 8-14-14 wet boxes Then is was time to haul out all the wet boxes!

But Gus and the landlord had to leave. The power did not come on until 9:30 a.m.! When the landlord saw the utility crews he asked them why it took so long. They said they did not receive a call until 4:30 AM! But that is not true because I called 10 minutes after the power went out the night before and I have my cell phone record to prove it! Once the power was back on, I called my son to see if he could come and help me. I could not lift all these boxes by myself. Fortunately he did not have to work on Thursday, so he came right down. Chris helped me haul stuff out of the basement.

8-14-14  wet dolls I unpacked it all and had to decide what to keep and what to toss.

 

8-14-14 memorabelia Memories…

 

8-15-14 new shelves Chris put this shelving unit together for me. We already had two in the basement and I bought two more. By the end of Thursday, August 14th, I was exhausted! The next morning I was alone with my task, as Gus had to go to work and there was no one to help me. When I went downstairs in the morning and saw all the water still on the floor and all the stuff that still had to be hauled outside, I felt overwhelmed! I feared mold and mildew growing in every nook and cranny! I wanted to cry, but crying doesn’t clean the basement, so I went inside and ate my breakfast, then got to work.

 

8-15-14 plastic bins There was still a puddle of water under these bins!

 

8-15-14 wet floor Puddles everywhere!

8-15-14 wet storage room This storage room has no windows and so was especially damp!

 

8-15-15 wet corner More wet corners and wet boxes!

Meanwhile, a pair of carpenters spent the day here putting in new basement windows with screens, so now we could open them! The carpenters and I were all racing the weather as more rain showers were predicted for the afternoon. We both got our tasks down just as the rain started to fall! I had to bring some stuff inside the house just to get it out of the rain. I did not have time to sit outside and sort through it all!

8-15-14 new window

A kind neighbor had let us use his dehumidifier. We ran it for 36 hours. On Saturday Gus was home and the landlord came back with his own dehumidifier and some larger fans. The landlord, Gus and I hauled more stuff out of the basement.

8-16-14 mop and bucket The landlord bought a new mop and bucket and mopped up the puddles.

I started to have hope as the floors continued to dry!

8-16-14 dry corner 

8-16-14 drying out 

8-16-14 drying out the storage room 

Since my son, Chris was away for the weekend I called my nephew, Jason, to see if he could come and help us. It is very hard to admit we are getting older and cannot do the things we use to do, but we needed some young man muscles to help us! Jason went right to work. He knew just what to do. I was so impressed with him!

8-16-14 progress Here is the stuff spread all over the yard!

8-16-14 protection from rain Here it is all under tarps after Jason piled it up, and he and Gus covered it!

It has to stay out here until the concrete dries out.

8-16-14 trash and recycles Six bags of trash (so far) and unlimited recycles waiting for trash day tomorrow!

I woke early and restless Sunday morning. Gus was still asleep. I could not face one more day in this house, so I made a cup of tea, fed the birds and the cats, and got in my car and ran away from home! I didn’t go far. Only over to Wharton Point where, amazingly, I had the place to myself! 

8-17-14 taking a break I arrived just as the tide was going out, revealing mudflats and birds! I always check the eBird Hotspot for this location and I would often see others who had seen so many shorebirds, but I would rarely see any that were close enough for me to identify. On this day there were yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a Semipalmated Plover! herons, egrets and gulls were everywhere, as well as some Common Terns and sparrows.

8-17-14 Wharton point It started to rain as soon as I arrived, so I dashed for cover under this tall oak tree. I left my camera in the car as i did not want it to get wet. In awhile the rain stopped and I took my camera and stood on the cement boat ramp to watch birds. there were many more birds in the distance that I could not identify, but there were enough close by that I ended up with 29 species of birds, including a Nelson’s Sparrow! How wonderful it was to find myself so delighted by the birds and the beauty of nature! Ninety minutes later when it started to rain again and some other birders showed up, I decided to go home. This much needed break gave me the renewal I needed to go back and deal with the rest of the mess.

8-18-14 livingroom mess Oh, it’s not over yet. I still have to deal with the stuff that is inside the house, and tomorrow I have family coming for a brief visit! I put stuff in every available space!

8-18-14 more stuff to deal with In the great room.

 

8-18-14 piles of stuff Behind the back door!

 

8-18-14 stuff everywhere On the mantle!

But, this house is so small, and I cannot WAIT to restore order and a sense of calm!

Until the flood I was all set to finish up my blog posts about Chris Rohrer’s visit! Now some of that will have to wait as I will be busy with this mess, plus family, plus birding! Then, we will have to reorganize the basement and all that stuff will have to go back down there somehow or another! In the meantime, I keep on counting the birds in my yard and wherever else I can find them! Migration is already underway up here in Maine with new birds showing up in my yard everyday. I am suddenly seeing warblers and more sparrows. Yesterday I had an Eastern Kingbird here again, and on the Friday after the flood I found a Tennessee Warbler in my yard making it Yard Bird number 97! Only three more to go before I reach 100 species in the yard! Life is still good!

I want to give a big shout out to my neighbor, Tom for letting us use his dehumidifier until the landlord could bring one down.

Thank you to my son, Chris for his emotional help as well as his brains and brawn in helping me on Thursday.

Thank you to my landlord for all he did to help, especially bringing the generator and for helping haul stuff out of the basement on Saturday.

And a big Thank You to Jason for coming so quickly and helping Uncle Gus and I! Andrea made a good choice when she married you!

17 comments:

  1. Oh, Kathy! Sorry you had such a time with the rains. I waited and waited for them, but they passed us right by!

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    1. Well, the rains would have been fun and exciting if we didn't lose power for such a long time! Once the sump was going the basement drained quickly. It's going to take awhile to get it all back together again! Thank you!

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  2. Welcome to Maine's monsoons, or as we call it here---summer. I can see how you got overwhelmed! Hopefully most everything is salvageable.

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    1. Rita, the hardest thing was throwing out books.

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  3. You live an exciting life! Rain is wonderful but it shouldn't be a sad event. You'll get it together and then you'll be ready for winter!

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    1. Okay Pollyanna, I'll send you some rain!

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    2. At least snow doesn't flood the basement!

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  4. Sorry to hear about your storm problems Kathie but thankfully you and Gus are safe.

    As is often the case your weather pattern has now sent the rain over to our shores!

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    1. Frank, it started as a gentle rain, but soon became a deluge! I hope you don't float away! Thanks for the sympathy!

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  5. Oh Kathie - how awful for you! I suppose there are two good things about your experience - people did help, and it is still warm, not winter when it would be even worse trying to get things dry. Nature does have two sides at times though, and I'm glad you were able to spend that recovery time with the birds. Good luck with it all, and I hope the rain holds off for a while.

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    1. Happy Wanderer, Thank You! Thankfully, we are having lovely weather this week, so the basement can dry out. the only bad thing about that is I would rather be out birding than staying home cleaning and sorting!

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  6. Kathie, I was following your flood problems on FB. It did seem awful, I hope things have returned to normal..

    BTW, thanks for the id help and the comment.. on my post. I always appreciate the help.. Happy Birding!

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    1. Eileen, you are most welcome and I am always glad to help! Yellow-throated vireos are so cute!

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  7. I am sorry for you and the mess, Kathie. You lost a lot of "things" as we say, but you are alright. I won't say all can be replaced but it can't.
    We had 33 inches of water in our house in July, 1979. It was a mess. We couldn't put up things high enough to be safe, only what would go in the attic trap door stayed. Pictures were the worst to loose although three cars (one was insured for floods) and a motorcycle got lost too.
    Again I am sorry and would come help if I could. Sounds like you are on the East Coast now,
    I don't blog much now but do post from one to several 'poems' still at the Little Photo and Poem Place blog.
    Hang in there, Jim
    ..

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    1. Jim, that sounds just awful, and yes, it is the little mementos that are hardest to lose, along with book. It always breaks my heart to throw out books, but mine were so soaked with water that they swelled up in the box so tightly I could not get them out! I have not been writing as much poetry as I want to. I've had so much to do since moving here! I will have to come and visit you little photo place again soon! Thank you for your kindness!

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  8. I thought you moved back to Arizona. So confused!

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    1. TR, we did. Then we moved again! We have been in Maine since February! We will probably be here for the next 5 years at least, but you never know with us!

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.