What’s a Cubit?

This weekend I was reminded of how outstanding The Bob is. You see, a week ago Sunday, when that lovely little lady, Hurricane Irene blew through our neck of the woods, yet again, despite all of our planning (four, count them FOUR sump pumps, emptying the pool about 6 inches in advance of the storm) our basement took a direct hit.

We had a plan! We pumped the pool like I said, so that it could accommodate the rain that was coming. We left the sump pump out there in the pool, to use if it began filling up. We had another one waiting in the Pit of Despair, in the event that began to fill and threatened to flood the basement. We have the installed pump, that can handle 25000 gallons of water a minute, at the ready.

And we prayed we wouldn’t lose power. And we didn’t!

But all of that was for nought. At approximately 9am, the rain began falling in earnest, the wind whipped and threatened to take trees down. At 9:10am The Bob said “I am going to pump some more water out of the pool” and a few minutes later I heard “NEED SOME HELP DOWN HERE!!” being bellowed from the basement.

It was like the Poseidon Adventure, sans Shelly Winters. Thank goodness. I don’t need her haunting my basement on top of the rest of the muck and ooze that is down there. Inside of 5 minutes, the backyard filled with water, the pool overflowed WHILE A SUMP PUMP WAS MADLY PUMPING WATER OUT OF IT. The water just rushed for the lowest point in the yard, the Pit of Despair, and not even the two sump pumps down there could keep up. It is as close to a flash flood as I wish to be.

Now, we did just buy a new treadmill (we have killed two in floods and one died of old age) so I ran over there, and with the strength of 10 Grinches I hauled the front of that sucker up and propped it up on an overturned Rubbermaid tub. I was not losing another one to flood waters! Then I ran and unplugged the freezer, and ran upstairs to turn off the furnace (the one time I am thankful for oil vs. gas) at the emergency switch. Then we left the basement, and watched the water bubble up out of the middle of my backyard for another 15 minutes.

As suddenly as it happened, it stopped, and the sump pumps began catching up. The water receded and in half an hour it was almost like it hadn’t even happened. Except for that residue of mud it left behind throughout the entire basement.

We continued to pump the pool out a little longer, in the event Irene wasn’t done beating us up. We turned on fans throughout the basement and a few hours later we discovered that the furnace survived, the freezer still turned on and froze things, and we DID NOT LOSE THE TREADMILL!

But there was still the issue of the mud. Yesterday The Bob began the cleanup work. Shelves were moved out to be rinsed off. The floor vacuumed and scrubbed with my special mixture of a little water and a lot of bleach. Many things are being thrown out. Thank goodness for the Scavengers. These guys show up the night before trash day, and pick your garbage clean of all metal and other usable objects. It is fabulous. But that Bob, he was as sweaty and dirty as I have ever seen him yesterday. He just got down and dirty in an effort to make the basement tolerable again.

In the meantime, I am looking up contractors because somewhere there is someone who can stand in my backyard, who is capable of diagnosing the problem and coming up with a plan for how to make the flooding stop. I don’t care if that solution is a big ass drain in the middle of my backyard, and if they told me it would stop if I got rid of the pool, I would be out there with a jackhammer and a standing order from some clean fill to be delivered. In the meantime I will be looking up the instructions for building an ark.

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