Illness and revolving snow storms had already placed this February among the most overall craptastic months I can remember. But last night managed to top it all. In the course of 72 hours we went from blizzard to tornado warning and flood.
This is what our creek looked like at dawn this morning:
And this is what our basement looked like at dawn this morning:
I've been up right now since 2am. I caught the basement early in the flooding, but Charles and I couldn't do a darn thing to stop it. It was too dark at 2am to see it, but the creek had risen so high that the tile the sump pump drains into was itself underwater. Because of this, no matter how long the sump pump ran it was unable to push any water out. The water in the basement just kept rising. God bless the crew from the local heating and plumbing company (same ones who installed our furnace & heat pump) who came out at 4am. By 6am they had figured out the problem and had rigged a temporary tile that is by-passing the buried tile. It is still pouring water about ten feet away from the house along the hill down to the creek.
At its peak the water was somewhere around 10-12 inches deep throughout the entire basement. Once the by-passed drain tile was in place the sump pump ran non-stop somewhere between 5 and 6 hours to empty the basement.
It's going to take a lot longer than that to clean up the mess though. The back room of our basement had a dirt floor. It now has a mud floor.
The picture below (which is of the bin that collects dirty clothes under our laundry shoot) shows how high the water reached:
When the by-passed drain went into action the water was less than an inch from reaching our furnace, heat pump, hot water heater, washer and dryer. As it is, the only valuables we may have lost are our shop vac and cordless drill. We were lucky we didn't lose more down there. But our greatest possible loss is outside the house.
I don't have any pictures of the stone bridge to post here. Most of it is still under water anyway. Most of what is left of it anyway. Back in my 'plans for 2011' post I said we planned to make rebuilding the bridge a four year project, but after last night our timeline has been cut drastically. Right now the middle of the bridge is still standing, but it appears the entire east side has mostly collapsed (and the west side was already collapsed before last night's storm). One more backhanded slap from Mother Nature and I fear we won't have a stone bridge at all. Our basement is one heck of a mess, but it's the bridge that has me fighting back tears.
So if you're reading this and have a few prayers to spare for north-central Ohio they would be much appreciated. At least one neighboring county has been declared a "state of emergency" and based on phone calls and the internet I know that many, many of our family and friends are dealing with their own flooded homes right now. I'd especially appreciate prayers for my parents. In the morrow they face the not unexpected but still very painful loss of a much loved family pet. In the morrow they will also face the continued job of salvaging what they can after pumping eight inches of water out of their own (partially-finished) basement.
So good riddance February.
(...and God-speed Redigen...)