Flooded Basement Woes

Hurricane Joaquin is rapidly approaching and I am braced for the worst. While all the homes in our little downtown community have leaky basements, the recent 4 days of heavy rain have already flooded our basement once.

Here's how I found it yesterday around noon...

By the early afternoon it was much, much worse, with a solid 3 inches of standing water in the boiler room and a half inch (up to 2 inches) in the entire rest of the basement. (Except for the bathroom, which is apparently built on "high ground.")

I made an emergency call to our neighbor, who also happens to be a contractor, and he had a guy come out and pump over 500 gallons of water out that afternoon and evening -- but he was barely getting ahead of the incoming water, which was seeping in along the entire west side of the house.

The culprit: heavy rains and saturated land

The photos below are a big foggy, because of the rain and also because we were at 100% humidity and the camera lens kept fogging up. Let's not talk about its effect on my hair.

You'll notice that the dog had to get involved. At this point I was at the end of my rope and may have screamed obscenities at her (which she happily ignored), but I trust the worst of it was drowned out by the rain.

Today things look much better...

The water mostly drained away over night, and the crew came this morning to do the final clean up. We've turned the washer/dryer back on and they seem to be none the worse for wear after sitting in 3 inches of water for hours. We haven't turned back on any of the TV electronics, whose cords were all partially submerged, since I'm paranoid about electrocuting myself and want to give everything another couple of days to dry out. The floor, however, is ruined. The concrete paint and stain is peeling everywhere, leaving a gluey substance that I'm sure will be toxic for the pets. 

Of course, insurance covers NOTHING.

Apparently, water damage like this requires flood insurance, which we do not have. Pro tip: homeowners insurance generally WILL cover water damage from a broken window or a busted washing machine water line. So... you know... break that window the next time the basement floods. (Kidding! Sort of.)

The hurricane is coming, and they are predicting 3-6 inches in a "predecessor rain event" before it arrives properly over the weekend. We are almost certain to have a repeat experience of yesterday's mess, if not worse. My professional plan is to put a baby gate up to the basement stairs and ignore it all until Bill gets back home at the end of next week.

Did I mention that Bill is traveling for work so I'm on my own?

Yeah. It's not awesome to be handling this on my own. Fortunately I have a friend who is helping me do some hurricane preparedness, including try to track down some sandbags from the City to use in the basement if major flooding is expected. I love her.

Instead of ending with doom and gloom, let's go out on a high note.

Here is a photo of our cute new kitten. Not drowned by exploring the basement drainage holes. Yet.