Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I needed to use up vacation days anyway...

Well, it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...

If you don't listen to A Prairie Home Companion that will be meaningless to you. And it has NOT been a quiet week for me. Not at all. No. The opposite of quiet, calm, still.

Last week began with the thing at work that I can't talk about taking a whole new and annoying turn, to which I state again DO WE REALLY NEED ALL THE LAWYERS?? And it has been really super sonic busy at work, since it is that time of the year where we begin awarding all the prospective new students for fall, and remind all the currently enrolled students they have to apply for aid again, and plan for the graduating students to graduate, and then the auditors surfaced saying they would love to come a full month and a half earlier for the yearly audit. So when the weekend came, I was ALL SET for some relaxation and a complete lack of thinking about stuff I didn't want to think about.

The universe decided to see my desire to not think about work related crap, and raise me with a monsoon of biblical proportions that threatened to flood my house with many feet of water for three days straight.

In case you think I am exaggerating:

This is the water spout that appeared out of my foundation on Sunday. This is the result of a rising water table, that was probably a solid foot above the floor of my basement. Fortunately it spurted OUT.

This would be me, sitting in the backyard on Sunday, seeing if we could use a sump pump to drain the yard so it would STOP GUSHING INTO MY BASEMENT.

And this is a picture of the left half of my yard from our deck. Can you see the floating dog poo? Mmmmm.

I have blogged about my basement flooding before. We have a lovely and expensive sump pump system, that can pump 2500 gallons of water a minute out. If the water can get INTO it to begin with. And thus the reason we sat in our basement for over 12 hours straight, pumping water with a smaller sump pump from the pit of despair. That is the pit you can see the water spurting into. And in that picture you can see the grate over the drain that should take water to the expensive sump pump BEFORE it floods my basement. The water came in at such a high volume it overran the drain and didn't get to the pump. So we had to pump it out of the pit BEFORE it entered the basement. Which meant turning on the pump every 5 minutes and then off again because the pit is not deep enough to cover the pump and allow for it to run on its own.

Do you know how cold my basement is at 3am in March? COLD.

By Monday sometime it slowed down enough that we didn't have to pump every 5 minutes, but every 20 minutes. We finally made a dent in the amount of water in the yard by pumping the water out of the pool, so as the yard would drain into the pool, we would pump it out into the street. It stopped raining on Monday night, and by Tuesday the water was actually draining into the drain at a speed that it could handle, so we didn't have to babysit it. We then could use the wet/dry vac to get at the small amount of water that came up through the floor and the walls at the other end of the basement. That is still happening.

We will eventually have to remove some drywall that is down there, because it has been wet for 4 days now. But we did NOT lose the treadmill, the freezer or the furnace. That was the goal of the military campaign we waged for 3 days. It only cost us the price of another sump pump, which I bought Sunday morning when it became apparent that things were not going to go well as the weather reports all showed this massive swath of green over all of eastern Massachusetts, pulling moisture off the ocean and dumping it in my yard. I was lucky to get my paws on that pump too. The road to Home Depot was flooded and eventually closed not too long after I went through there. And I might have had to arm wrestle some guys to get the pump if it weren't for Cooper being there. I might have gotten the "mom at Home Depot with small cute child" dispensation.

We count ourselves lucky though. We didn't lose power, which would have doomed us, we didn't have to be evacuated in the bucket of a bulldozer as some people in town did, and we didn't lose anything expensive. The company that installed the expensive sump system will be out on Friday to assess if they can make the drain BIGGER. I want a giant sewer grate in my floor if that is what it takes. And it couldn't hurt to create another sump pump hole in the pit of despair, where we could put one temporarily if this particular set of circumstances were to converge upon us again.

I also want to give a shout out to The Bob, who personified grace under fire through this ordeal and battled the elements with style, using his computer and our wifi down in the basement while monitoring the sump pump activity. You rock.


Dproudmama said...

You both rock. Thankfully you got through this bout in pretty good shape. Floating dog poo. Nice. that pool should be great to swim in, eh?

Hope the other challenges fade into the distance soon.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Yikes! We had it bad here on the North shore, but our two pumps held steady. I did get up at 4 Sunday morning because I was so freaked out by the rain, though. Hope things dry out, it was a stressful weekend for everyone I think!

Susan said...

Living in desert-like California and never having had a basement, I cannot imagine going through this! Glad you managed to save the stuff.

Anonymous said...

I always knew the De Pasquale women were tough.............but you just raised the bar little neice.
Love you,
Aunt Linda

Audubon Ron said...

The sons of Noah who came out of the ark...Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk… (now you know why).

Bee said...

Wow - I would have cracked under the pressure! Thankfully the sun is shining and everyone is drying out!

MidLifeMama said...

Susan: not sure if this is better or worse than the threat of earthquakes, fires and mudslides. Ron: Noah knew what he was doing planting that vineyard for sure. That is next on my wish list. And WOOT Aunt Linda on the blog!!