Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Flood

Last Friday, Dad, Renie and Ms. Kathy left for a trip to Florida.  They missed the storm.  But that left ME in charge of the compound.  Oh boy!

You remember that massive storm last week that caused destruction from Oklahoma to Maine?  All those horrible tornadoes on North Carolina?  Well, we had a flood!

As I have talked about before, I am right on the Delaware River and marshes come right up to the road.  When it floods, it usually comes from the marshes.  We have a fairly new bulkhead that keeps the river where it belongs.

The conditions were just right for a flood.  The wind was blowing and kept the water in the Delaware Bay, which meant the water stayed in the marshes as well.  AND there was a full moon, which meant a higher than normal tide too.  I looked out at the river when my tide clock said low tide and there was no beach, no sand bar, just lots of water.  I knew we were in trouble then.

High tide was around 10:30 pm and that's when I take Jaxon for his final walk of the night.  All the neighbors were out too.  There was water EVERY WHERE!  In the road, in the driveway, in the yard, in all of Jaxons favorite bathroom places.  I walked out by my car and it was ankle deep, but wasn't covering all of the driveway yet.  Ten minutes later, it was calf deep and was pouring into the storm cellar.   That's when I decided the get my rubber boots on and move the cars.  Dad has a truck and still had 6 inches before I had to worry about it.

I checked with my neighbor who has lived there for a long time to see how worried I should be and he said not too worried.  Once the tide turns, it will dry up.  He was right!

By 11:00 pm , the tide had turned and the water started to recede from the yard.  By 12:30 the road was uncovered and I could get to the storm cellar.  It was filled with water still.  The sump pump was working overtime.

The next morning, I went out to move the cars back and survey the damage.  Debris everywhere, mud every where.  There was still a good 8 inches of water in the storm cellar.  I counted up seven cinder blocks that were wet, that's over 5ft of water!!  In the storm cellar!!

In talking with the neighbors, I found out that the main road from town was washed out and impassable. That road is still listed as Closed, but people are using it.  They are supposed to do a study to see how badly it was undermined in the flood.  Two of the three main roads leading to the interstate were washed out and closed.  Many of the neighbors had to have the fire department come and pump out their basements.

All in all we were lucky. Until the sump pump started misbehaving.  It would stay on even when there wasn't any water to suck. I didn't know this until Monday evening when my neighbor came over to tell me he'd heard it sucking air and that he had come over during the day to empty out the basement occasionally.  What a wonderful man!

So the rest of the week, I babysat the sump pump when I would come home.  We were still getting 3 and 4 inches of water in the cellar all week.  I sent Dad an email telling him what was going on and that we would need a new pump when they got home.  I also complained that I was left in charge but no one told me this.

Of course when I left for the weekend, I let someone else know what was going on and how to handle it but they didn't.  When I got home on Sunday, Dad told me the pump had burned up.

While they were in Florida, they got me my own tool kit for when I am the substitute Handyman.....

I think this will definitely come in handy the next time!


  1. Yes, I remember those storms. I have never had to deal with floods, thank goodness, but it sounds scary. I'm glad you managed thru it all, and Jackson stayed safe.

  2. ugh...have lived through a few floods...destructive stuff...glad you came through that...and nice tool kit...smiles.

  3. I'm really glad it didn't get worse, but YIKES! Those sump pumps are phenomenal, but you're right...only if they're working.


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