Let me just say first and foremost that in 42 years I have never actually been through a major natural disaster that involved major damage to my home.
Less than a week ago 6 inches of water "seeped" into our basement through our foundation (can you really call it "seeping" when you get 6 inches in less than 5 hours?) because the water table is the highest it's been in years due to record breaking rainfall in Rhode Island this February and March.
Numerous others I know shared similar stories.
Our basement finally dried out over the weekend (with the aid of a shop vac and a submersible pump and a lot of back breaking labor by my amazing husband) and we cleaned up.
Only to have another record breaking torrential rainfall hit yesterday evening.
At midnight when we collapsed in bed the basement was dry.
By 3:00 a.m. another 6 inches of water had made its way into our home.
By 7:00 a.m. there were between 8-9 inches of icy cold water forming an unfortunate and unwanted indoor swimming pool in what was once our lovely office, family room and storage rooms.
3 submersible pumps, many hours of pumping, and a lull in the rain later we seem to be down to 6 inches again. However the rain is picking up once more and I fear that, while the pumps will stop the worst of new water, they won't make much of a dent in what's already down there.
Our furnace died. There is now no heat in our house and the temperature is supposed to drop into the low 40s tonight.
Whenever I've seen things like this on the news, I've thought to myself, "Those poor people! Oh that's so awful!" and felt truly, if momentarily, sorry for them. Then I've thought rather meanly, "Why on earth did they choose to live near that [river] [lake] [dam] [reservoir] when it seems to flood every few years?" and then gone on my merry way to my nice dry family room to watch movies.
And now I am one of those "poor people" along with my husband and thousands of other New Englanders that you're seeing on the news wherever you might live. And maybe you're thinking to yourself, "Oh, those poor people!" and then wondering to yourself why we chose to live here.
The calls for sump pumps and submersible pumps have been fast and furious today on Facebook.
Sitting in our living room surrounded by books, movies, pillows, boxes and various and other sundry things that had been downstairs, I'm thinking about the large plastic bin of Christmas ornaments that we thought had been "safe" downstairs, but actually tipped over and filled with water. What did we lose? Any precious heirloom ornaments? Any of the special ornaments that my husband and I have given each other over the last 10 years.
I was actually OK until the ornaments.
And now I feel like crying.
We're "those people" who are dealing with no heat and major damage to our home. Who are frustrated and kind of in shock. And kind of punchy and exhausted. Who are dealing with the fact that our homeowners "flood insurance" (...such as it is) only covers the mechanical failure of a pipe breaking or the flooding of a major body of water...but does NOT consider the "average" seeping in of water through a foundation worthy of coverage.
Apparently our flood is just average.
If they think that 9 inches of water seeping through our foundation is "average" they are out of their f@#$ing minds.
I'm trying not to think about the afterwards. The time, effort and money that are going to have go into repairing the damage to our house.
And, of course, I am especially trying not to think about all of the rain that we usually get in April.
Yeah, our life - and the lives of so many here in New England - are kind of sucking today. Big time. And will probably continue to suck for quite some time.
Thankfully we still have each other. Still have a bit of a sense of humour about all of this (just a tiny bit) And we have functioning laptop computers. THANK GOODNESS! And, conveniently, a cell card that is working when our WiFi isn't.
And lots of DVDs.
So, now it's off to watch a movie on a laptop.
Trying to take our minds off of the rain that just keeps coming down. And the water that may keep rising.
Please think very dry thoughts for us here in New England.