Today we had our first sunny day since the 18th century, I think. The previous three days saw somewhere between 8 and 12 inches of rain dumped on our state, depending on your location. On Monday afternoon, we got a recorded call from the local police department saying that our town had deployed its Emergency Management Office, to help residents and public safety officers cope with flooding, deteriorating roads, sewer problems, and power outages. The title of this post is a direct quote from that phone call. I still haven’t gone to the Police Department’s Facebook page. And since I tend to use Facebook for witty commentary and general fun-wreaking, they’re probably happy I haven’t stopped by.
If not for our constantly hungry cats
and ONE constantly hungry cat in particular
who knows when we would have discovered the water in our basement. We heard a guy interviewed on the radio last night who said that he only went to his basement because he didn’t have any hot water for his shower. When he went down to check the water heater, he found 2 feet of water in his basement. That could easily have been our situation, too.
But we have these cats who love to eat, just not while standing shoulder deep (for them) in cold water. Pansies. So on Sunday evening, they were doing their Feed Me dance at the top of the stairs, and when SweetP went down the stairs, they didn’t follow her. Hmmm. A clue a clue! We know for a fact that Mrs. Bates isn’t down there, lounging decrepitudinously in her rocker. So maybe it’s…
2″ of water! No biggie, except we’re already an hour behind on sleep from dang Daylight Savings, plus we’re late to a church potluck. So, we threw caution to the winds and headed out across town for the eating of food and drinking of wine. I was privately harboring this idea that our animals, with their ultra absorbent fur, might band together to hatch a scheme that involved taking turns soaking up the water in their fur, then coming up to the bathroom to wring themselves out tidily in the tub, and repeating as necessary.
No dice. We returned home from the potluck around 9 pm to find the water at 4″ and rising. We changed into our best versions of hazmat wear, and set about bailing our domestic Titanic with the equivalent of a thimble. We ran this crazy Wet Vac Relay, where I stood in the driveway with the canister end of the Wet Vac, and SweetP stood in the basement with the business end of the Wet Vac. We could get the Wet Vac about half full before it would begin spewing instead of sucking, and then I’d turn it off, pull off the lid, wheel the canister to the end of the driveway and dump the water in the street. Then I’d run back to the basement door with the empty canister, re-assemble the Wet Vac and we’d start again. We did this for about an hour and a half and got the water down to about 2″. Oh, and did I mention that this entire time it was pouring sideways-blowing-rain and cussin’ cold, with 40 mph gusts of wind?
We went to bed Sunday night with the now all-too-familiar sound of wind and rain whipping the windows. Monday morning, I got to the local big box store before it opened, and was about 20th in line. When they opened the doors, I was too far back to hear the initial exchange with the store employee, but I saw quite a few people ahead of me in line turn away from the store and sprint through the rain back to their cars. Finally someone yelled, “There are NO pumps!”
So I went home and called the plumber. He showed up around 9, pulled a brand new submersible pump out of the box and rigged it to pump the water up the basement stairs and out to the driveway. Apparently, he’s tried the Wet Vac relay and found it lacking. Within an hour, the water was almost gone, and in a sudden stroke of genius, I asked him if we could buy the pump from him before he left. He agreed, and the Little Pump That Could is still down there, keeping our basement dry. If I could figure out how to pay myself the $150/hour that the plumber was charging, I wouldn’t need the professional outplacement services that I began using today. But that is another story for another day. Now it just might be time to check out the Police Department’s Facebook page.
We’ll close this episode with a seasonally appropriate tune, Kris Delmhorst’s “Water Water,” which she adapted from Robert Herrick’s chart-topping poem of 1648, “Scare Fire.”