4 inches of rain and micro tornado- flooded basement in week 2

secondhalfAugust 11, 2012

Well, we were lucky enough to get the best contractor in the state but not lucky enough to fool mother nature. A micro cell whipped through our New England town and because the foundation was temporarily open when 4 inches of rain came down in an hour, our 25 year old base,ent, which has never had a drop of water, was covered in 2 inches of water. It's finished...I had already moved 14 boxes of material from the first floor to get it out of the way of the renovation- the boxes were soaked...my poor husband was up at midnight balancing stacks of my great aunt's 100 year old china....I never let ANYONE touch it...the family jokes that no steak knives are allowed near it....and here he is taking it out of soaking boxes. The contractor and emergency crews were here all last night and today. There is insurance. We saved the stuff that meant something. I'm being forced to throw out stuff I probably shouldn't have been saving anyway. I know this isn't kitchen talk, but I also know that you great people have listened to me fret over counters, soapstone, cabinets, 8 foot ceilings, etc and I knew you'd understand the work involved in unpacking and repacking 15 boxes of soaked kitchen and dining room goods, not to mention cleaning out 19 years of basement that you didn't intend to tackle for a few years. Best to all of you who have lived rough much bigger disasters tha this little blip.

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claybabe

Oh you poor thing: You so didn't need this. Glad the china made it out safely :)

We had a pretty much totally over-scheduled summer going when, as I was making the beds in the basement for 2 of our 10 houseguests (wedding, at our house) we discovered a swamp from the storm we had a couple of days earlier. Like you said, it isn't that you can't manage it, but there were other items on the To Do list that day....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:15PM
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williamsem

Oh, that really sucks. While it's hard, going through it all now will be better in the long run. My grandmother and sister both flooded pretty bad when Irene came through here last year. My grandmother didn't toss a lot of things she should have. She passed away unexpectedly 3 weeks ago, so now we ar sorting through boxes of moldy or mildewy stuff, most of which shouldn't have been saved in the first place before the flood!

Glad you have a good GC. Hopefully you'll be back on track soon. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:30PM
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secondhalf

Claybabe and williamsem - thanks so much for the prop up!! And w- I'm so sorry about your grandma's passing and the inevitable cleaning up that occurs afterward. I used to be an estate planning lawyer and often would have clients without families to do all of that. I'm glad your grandma has you to do that...there will be lots of memories in those boxes, in spite of the mold!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:57PM
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oldbat2be

Oh secondhalf, I am so sorry for what you are going through. We are on the North shore of Boston and were on the water last night and it was crazy. Going through a renovation is tough enough, can't imagine the extra challenges presented by downstairs flooding. Fingers crossed for dry weather and best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:08PM
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lascatx

Not nearly as rough here, but my entire summer has been wrapped up in getting my dad moved, his house sold and then everything divided and the house cleaned out. I am going through an unknown number of boxes and trying to figure out what to do with a few pieces of furniture. Something that was in his garage makes me itch. I haven't figured out what it is yet. I think we might have gotten some bugs in the house from some of the boxes, and I have about a dozen boxes of photos to go though, scan and send out to everyone, but at least it is all dry.

Hope all you soggy ones get things dried and sorted and don't lose anything especially important to you.

BTW, I'd trade 15 wet boxes for a better GC any day. :D

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:29PM
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aliris19

I hope the last half goes better than this second one... :) You're doing a great job stifling some wailings -- I'd be distraught. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:02AM
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deedles

You didn't lose any photographs down there, did you?
What a mess, huh? Hey, I had a sewer back up into the basement of a house I was renting years ago. Thankfully didn't own much then so nothing of mine was down there.
At least you 'only' had water... coulda been..

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:26AM
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kamkar2006

I am so sorry this happened to you. I know how stressful this all can be, especially when there is so much stuff everywhere and no where to store it all. But at least you were home to be able to remove everything as it was happening!

We just moved into our new home and we already have leaks from the foundation and those same rains leaked into the basement too. They came down so fast!

I hope everything works out and nothing got completely ruined!

All the best!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:02AM
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marcolo

Since when does New England have Florida weather? I live in MA now but I lived in CT for 7 years and we never had an extreme weather event. It's terrible that your neck of the woods keeps getting hit.

Almost the whole state of MA has been under tornado watches for two days--unheard of. There was the tornado that came through Friday that touched Long Island, Ct and then crossed the border into Mass., and now they're reporting that another tornado touched down yesterday. What a summer!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:34AM
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MuleHouse

I'm so sorry. Flooded basements are such a shock. I'm a brand new member, this is my first post. In Lower Alabama we were inundated with heavier than usual rain and our new (to us) renovation building flooded last week. Bunch of tools got wet but no family keepsakes. It was city street run off water and came up our 3 floor drain holes. We now have rubber plugs in each of those holes but won't know how secure they are till another heave rain.

Hope your basement will dry out ok. We have 6 inch ceramic tile basement flooring which could be over a hundred years old. At least the old cracked grout allowed it to drain.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:39AM
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secondhalf

You guys are so great with the support- mostly I'm finding myself shaking my head and saying "why did I think I should keep this?". We've lost a couple of keepsakes but we have nothing to complain about. I keep telling myself it's going to be a fresh start.

And yes- this weather is truly unprecedented.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:02PM
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CEFreeman

I just saw this and wanted to chime in with my sympathies.
I had a fire, which caused me to have to go through boxes and boxes of things several times to sort, discard, donate, or restore.

It is never easy, and very depressing at times. However, you have found the bright side, which I did, too. Getting rid of stuff you probably should have long ago, anyway.

Don't forget about Freecycle!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:02PM
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marti8a

I am so sorry. It makes me sick to think of ruined heirlooms. I understand the frustration of of a flood and having to spend time taking care of this problem when you have other things you need to be doing right now.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:21AM
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enduring

I hope all is going well and the weather has let up. I'm so sorry to hear of your losses and struggles with your household.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:55AM
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claybabe

Secondhalf, I thought I might pose this question for you since I am sure you have had time to think about how to sort through stuff...I have a ridiculously large collection of Life magazines. They are a pain to move around but every time I look at even one (from the 40s, 50s, 60s) I see photos I want to frame and have on the wall. Same with my 1920s National Geographics. I know all this stuff is online, but I like the paper and really would like to choose a few to frame. Alas, I have hundreds....

Any suggestions, GWers?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:03AM
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MarinaGal

Yikes - that sounds terrible! I have lived in New England for 30 years and never even knew what a tornado warning or tornado watch meant until two years ago. I guess we have to get used a new way of thinking about our weather (and basements!).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:31AM
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