... a satiation situation
As Phyllis Diller would say, "Can we talk?" I would like to relate my recent experience in a local flood and I'm seeking attentive ears. Remember the comedy routine of Bill Cosby in which he created a humorous situation with no props. He takes the parts of God and Noah. God begins by speaking from above to Noah. "Noah, I am going to make it rain for forty days and nights. I want you to build an ark. I want you to take onto the ark your family and two of each animal on Earth." It was not specified, but I presume this meant a male and a female of each species, otherwise, what's the use, biologically speaking? If you have ever taken an ocean or a river cruise, you know the passenger list contains all types of people, with maybe a few animals. Here we have the situation reversed, making it very interesting.
Enough prologue. I'll get on with my experience in early April here in my home in Melrose. My house sits in a virtual basin, geologically speaking, and during heavy rains the water comes up through the basement floor. My only choice is to use a sump pump to get rid of the water. If the pump can't keep up with the inflow, or upflow in this case, then I go wading to rescue anything residing on the floor. I had lived in three other homes, including that of my father, without ever experiencing a drop of basement water, or as we used to call it, a cellar. I never knew what a sump pump was until two days after moving to this house many years ago. That was the time of our first flooding. It was then that I realized what the reason was for the hole in the floor, and the s.o.b. who sold the house to us had taken his sump pump with him.
Without going through all the floods over many years, I'll bring us back to April, 2004. Although we had only seven inches of rain, I ended up with 12 to 14 inches of water, depending on where one measured. It was deepest at my electric dryer and that knocked out the heating element. Anyone for an electric dryer that spins but saves money by not providing expensive heat? The other casualty was my oil burner. I was without heat and hot water for five days and the weather following the rain was cold. Luckily, I did not lose my electricity and the oil burner worked after a period of dryout.
I have three pairs of rubber boots but quickly I discovered they were for snow not water. Time to improvise. I put a plastic trash bag on each leg and then put on the boots. Now I could wade around my basement pool, protected and retrieving the floating cans of paint, jugs of bleach and laundry detergent and various miscellaneous articles which were not ensconsed above the 12 inch level. I felt like a beachcomber in my own house.
I was thinking, if only God had called down to me, "Hey Buddy, (He can't be expected to remember the name of everyone on Earth), your sump pump is running, but it is NOT pumping." Before I realized that was the situation, I had 8" and before I could get a new sump pump and install it, I had reached the 12" to 14" level. The most serious loss here was the baseboard forced hot water heating system. It was so badly damaged that I had a plumber come to cap it off. After that, with crow bar, wrecking bar, sledgehammer and a lot of muscle, I had removed it all. That is now a pile of rubble in my back yard.
The good news, I hope, will come on June 1 when I will have a waterproofing company come to view and give me an estimate of what they can do to permanently solve the problem. I expect they will recommend a French Trench. This is for the basement floor and not to be confused with the dental problem of the same name.
Additional good news is our county has been declared eligible for a grant or a low-cost loan from FEMA. Let it be known throughout this great nation that this is one government agency which is very efficient and keeps its promises of aid. Their promise of a visit by an inspector within a week was true. That inspector and all the forms I filled out (or is it "in"?) have resulted in a grant to help with repairs. That sum has already been directly deposited in my checking account.
Thank you FEMA, and perhaps God knows me after all... but really, I was not that thirsty.
June 4, 2004