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Friday, January 14, 2005

Flood day

For the first time in a long time, I am taking a day off from work on account of weather. Not snow, not ice, but...rain. Or rather, the aftermath of that rain.

Leaving work yesterday was weird. Temperatures were in the low 60's (Fahrenheit - that's around 16-17 degrees Celsius) and the air smelled of fish. This was the warm, moist breath of the Pineapple Express, the storm system that blew in from the Pacific and caused so much devastation in California earlier in the week. Overnight the rain came down fast and hard. And this morning water started to bubble up in my basement.

The water in my basement always follows a specific pattern. First the southeast corner, then the southwest corner. Then along the southern and southeastern walls, which are several feet underground...by the time it gets to the northern wall, you'd better be heading for higher ground.

This morning started off with a little water in the southeastern corner, and none in the southwestern. OK, I thought, I would eat breakfast, take a shower, and if the water hadn't receded yet, I would pump out whatever was there before I headed to work.

After breakfast there was more than half an inch of water in the southeast corner, and almost as much in the southwest. I set up my two pumps and began pumping...and pumping...and pumping. By then the rain had turned to wet snow, but the ground is still supersaturated, so the water keeps pouring into my basement. Still, having seen the death and destruction that this system has caused, and having seen the death and destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami three weeks ago, I've got nothing to complain about.

I'm now cycling the pumps on and off, to see if the water level has stopped rising. If I get to a point that the water recedes on its own, I'll grab a shower and head into work. Odds are that's not gonna happen in the next few hours, but we'll see.

UPDATE: The water started to recede at about 7:00 at night. By this point I had burned out one of my pumps, so I had to finish things off with a shop-vac. (I think it's burned out. It makes a high-pitched whining sound instead of the more cacaphonous sound it used to make. And it doesn't have any suction, even with both the inlet and outlet hoses removed.) When the water recedes all the way, I'll have to wash everything down with bleach. Yay.

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