Monday, June 7, 2010

Water, water, everywhere...

I was awakened Sunday morning (June 6th, 2010) at about 6:00 am by the sound of rain. I noticed that my alarm clock and the cable box were blank, instead of displaying the time as they usually did.

Apparently a storm had blown into the area, and knocked out power to our entire neighborhood. Oh well, I thought, maybe I'll get to sleep a bit longer... wait... no power means no electricity, no electricity means that the sump pump in the basement will not work, and all of my gaming stuff is in the basement!

I got dressed and went downstairs to find about 3" of water in the basement. Hmmm... I always wanted an indoor pool, but not like this.

First things first. Most of the electric appliances in the basement are plugged into power strips, which are on the floor, and are now under water. I waded into the water and found my 18v flashlight over my workbench and switched it on so I could see. I started unplugging all the power cords and lifted the power strips out of the water and put them on a chair to drain.

There is a floor drain in the center of the basement that goes to the sewer system, and water was steadily flowing into it, so I figured I could start pushing the water that direction, hopefully the power would be restored soon, then the sump pump could finish the job.

I spent the next few hours sweeping water towards the drain and picking up items off the floor so they could start drying out. Fortunately I keep the vast majority of my game stuff on shelving and in plastic storage containers. There were some casualties however.

At about 8:30 the lights came on and the sump pump started doing its job. I continued sweeping while I listened to the pump going until about 9:30, when it finally shut off. I spent another few hours cutting up the carpeting in the finished side of the basement and hauling it out to the curb. I noticed several of my neighbors conducting similar activities, so I know the outage must have been fairly widespread.

There were still a lot of puddles of water all over the basement, so I got out the shop vac, converted it for wet work, and started vacuuming up the water. I spent pretty much all day Sunday doing this. When the shop vac got full I emptied it into the sump pit so it could be pumped outside as well.

Currently, there are 4-5 large box fans, several smaller fans, and a dehumidifier going full blast in the basement. The floor is starting to look almost dry, and the water marks on the walls are going away.

I contacted the insurance company, and they will be out to look at things in a few days. I'm still taking inventory of the damages...

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