I had my moment and another is coming, I feel it as the days pass, the weight gets heavier, and the flood is slowly forgotten by those unaffected. We lost our home. We lost our furniture. We lost everything we put our heart and soul into over the last five and a half years. But what we saved and what we have gained is beyond my wildest imagination and that is what keeps my “moments” at bay.
A couple of weeks ago we had a rainstorm that flooded our screen room, entryway, front yard, foyer and playroom. The foyer and playroom were relatively easy and quickly taken care of and it was brought to our attention that we need to do some work on our gutters and drainage systems as well as contact the city about the drainage system on the street. We did these things.
All of the rain and the freeze we had over the last year completely saturated the ground and the water table is very high. No drainage system could handle it.
We knew rain was coming so we did the best we could to prepare. Sandbags were laid at doorways, large tubes carried water from the gutter to the front yard and dryer areas. But it was all for naught.
On Tuesday night, my husband and I were optimistic as the rain began and our screen room and entry stayed dry. We felt our preparations were working. Yay for us! So we made popcorn and watched one of the shows we DVR. Then I went to bed only to be awoken two hours later by the continuous thunder and lightening. When I say continuous, I mean it. The lightening lit the sky like a matrix for hours nonstop. The thunder boomed and shook the house. The rain fell in torrential buckets. The sky looked like it had broken, the lightening was all of the cracks and it was falling apart.
My husband walked in quietly with a headlamp so as not to wake me to see if our room was getting rain. It was not but the foyer and playroom were flooded. A few minutes later he came in to ask help getting it under control. From 12:30am-1:30am we mopped water coming from the seams of the house (he describes it as Amityville Horror) into the foyer which is a step down. We used it as a water container. Our kids rooms took water so as they slept peacefully, we mopped water out of their rooms into the hallway and down into the foyer bucket. We got it dry and felt we had conquered well enough so we went to bed…for an hour.
I heard my dogs nervously sloshing around in water as I was dozing in and out of sleep. I looked at the floor next to my bed and into the hallway and the water had risen about half of a foot. All of that mopping and drying an hour earlier had been such a waste of time and energy. We got up, I laid blankets on the couch and put both dogs on it to sleep. One dog is 50+ lbs, the other about 80 lbs. and I laid with them to keep them from jumping down. My husband turned off the power in case it rose to the electrical outlets while we slept. I tried to rest but it was impossible. So I looked at Facebook and kept the dogs settled telling myself if we could just get to morning, all would be okay.
When I finally pushed denial aside at about 4:15am, I noticed the water was over a foot and inching quickly to the outlets. I barely let my foot down off the couch and reached with my hand to easily touch water. At this point I knew it was time to evacuate. I woke my husband and he agreed. He dressed and waded out to start the van. He waded back in, said if we were going to go, we had to go fast otherwise the van might not stay running, it had filled up with water too. I quickly packed items we would need for the next 12 hours, gave him the bags and as he was outside, I called the fire department to come rescue us. They said they would but didn't know when, so we braved it. Tim took the dogs out one at a time, I then gather my daughter, and once he had her, I went to get my son out of his crib where the water was almost to his mattress as he lay peacefully sleeping. The image is haunting.
I waded my son out to the van with a blanket over his head, my purse on my arm and an armful of his blanket and stuffies that I refused to leave behind. It was dark so the kids didn't see the house and were half asleep anyway. The roads were flooded so we floated until we reached ground where the van would take off as my husband slammed the gas to get it moving. It was scary but we made it finally to my moms house that was dry and safe not two minutes away.
We settled in, tried to rest but the kids were excited about the seeming adventure and we were too frazzled to sleep despite having not slept at all. We made coffee, turned on shows for the kids, pulled out toys and started a puzzle which was a surprisingly good distraction. The gravity of what just happened slowly began to settle in as the hours ticked by but it wasn't until my husband and I returned to the house around 9:30am that I ever could I grasped how bad it really was.
To be continued.