Family Fun Night?
There is nothing like a family fun night to bring your little group together. We had a family fun night on Wednesday, September as a result of the remnants of hurricane Ida
Let me just say that this tale is not serious at all. Unlike the unlucky people of Louisiana, we here in New Jersey did not get hit as hard as they did. It has been 16 years since Hurricane Katrina. That is a nightmare that can never fully be recovered from (no matter what they say). I know what wrath a hurricane can bring upon a community. Even though it has been 9 years since Super Storm Sandy, the Jersey shore still hasn't gotten exactly back to where it was and never will. (But that's another story.) I can't imagine what it must be like in Louisiana and the surrounding areas
Hurricane Ida was downgraded to a tropical something or other when it started to make its way into New Jersey. We have been warned that they were going to be heavy rains and possible tornados in the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area. We knew it was coming. The weather people told us it was going to be bad. Sometimes the forecasters are wrong. Weather can be hard to predict. This time they were very right. As they say on channel 2 CBS News, you better listen to Lonnie. We did!
I complain a lot about the fact that I live on top of the hill. Whenever I go for a walk, no matter what direction I go, I have to return by going uphill. However in the light of last night's storm, I will always make sure that I live on top of a mountain or a hill. Forget dreams of living on the beach somewhere, when or if I retire. My dreams are now to live in the mountains somewhere. On top of a mountain, not at the foot. (Can I get myself a permanent suite a Skytop if I win the lottery?)
Back to the Wednesday evening. After dinner (yes, we have family dinners almost every night), my son had asked if he could go out see his girlfriend. She lives around the corner and most nights either he goes to see her for a couple of hours or she comes here. The night before she'd come here so it made plenty of sense that he was going to go there. He wore his trench coat for the weather. (Yes, my son has a trench coat...and looks darned good in it.) My husband and I made him carry an umbrella. He went out and I don't think we told him what time he should be home; he pretty much knows the drill.
The weather started getting worse and the rain was really coming down. My mother called me at around 8:00 saying that she had heard about tornado warnings in our area and was concerned about us (specifically her grandson). Actually she had heard about them all over the state. There were tornadoes that touched down in the southern part of New Jersey. Tornadoes that did some serious damage. (Is there a tornado that doesn't?) Thankfully this time the tornadoes did not make it our neck of the woods like it did several weeks back when a confirmed tornado cut through part of town, knocking down trees and displacing a home off its foundation. I told her that her grandson was not at home and that he would be fine. But she was not convinced. This made me crazy as I started second guessing myself. Should I have not let my son go out to see his girlfriend? So I'm texting him and telling him he needed to be home at or before 9:00.
As the minutes ticked by I kept thinking maybe I had made a mistake. My mother called me again. The rain was coming down like no one could believe it. So I texted my son and again asked him to be home by 9:00.
I could watch him move from his girlfriend's house to our house via phone app. At a running pace should only take 2 to 3 minutes. I told him to move as fast as he could, but he seemed to be moving very slowly and it kind of ticked me off. My husband suggested that I grab a towel and bring it downstairs as our son was going to be drenched when he got in. I did so and stood by the front door waiting for him. And waiting for him. What was l taking so long for him to just come from around the corner? He should have been home again in 2 to 3 minutes and nearly 10 minutes had gone by.
Then he appeared at the front door; drenched like a drowned rat. He said the street that his girlfriend lived on was flooded. It was so flooded that he was slogging through water up to his knees. It should be noted that my son is over 6 ft. tall so his knee area is rather high up. He was dripping all over my floor so it was a good thing I bought him a towel. While he was drying off, I had him call my mother to reassure her that he was safe.
With him safely home, I decided to climb into bed. My son took a shower and also got ready for bed. However he decided to go downstairs for something after he took a shower and he happened to check out the basement. (Insert ominous music here.) That's when he noticed that it was "getting a little damp." A little damp? That's never good.
My husband decide to get out of bed and see what's going on. A good 10 minutes later I hear him hollering my name. That's when I see that water is coming in towards the front side of the house. However, the good news was the back portion of the house which used to get water was completely dry. That's the result of the new patio. With the patio, they buried the downspout under the ground and ran it down further so that it runs all the way to our far backyard. I have to say the downspout path doesn't look really great but it really worked really well! (So who the heck cares about how it looks?).
Back to where the water was seeping it. Specifically the section of the basement that was once part of the coal cellar. There is an indentation in the "floor" in that section. Not only was it filled with water but it was overflowing coming up through the space and following out into the rest of the basement.
This results in a late family fun night! We traipse back upstairs get out of our PJs and put on crappy clothes and crabby shoes and head back to the basement. Hubby digs out the wet vac that we kept the basement which hasn't used in years. (I didn't even know if it was still going to work.) The good news is that it did! He plugged it in and started sopping up the water. It didn't take long for the canister to fill. So he would take it over to the utility sink and dump it out. Back and forth, back and forth he would go. After about six or seven times, it was time for me to join the fun and get a bucket. He would vacuum up the water. The canister would get full. He emptied it out into the bucket. I took the bucket to the utility sink and emptied it out there. So far so good, but...
The issue was that in vacuuming up the water he was also getting portions of the dirty floor. (Our basement is seriously unfinished and there are lots of cracks and dirt and other assorted things that reside on the ground.) These things came up in the water I dumped into the utility sink and the utility sink started to get clogged. Now it was time to get my son involved. I had him to go upstairs and get a plunger. Then I plunged out the sink in between empting bucket after bucket as my husband continued to vacuum water.
After about 20 to 30 minutes of this my husband was pretty exhausted. So I took over the vacuuming portion and we came up with a new assembly line type of system. (True family fun!) I vacuumed. My husband would empty the vacuum as it filled up. My son took the bucket and emptied it into the sink and kept the drain clear. By the time he did this, my canister was full again and the process would continue. This went on and on. For about 45 minutes. Most of the water was gone and we were all sweaty and tired. (Working together is not only "fun" but hard work)
We all made our way back upstairs. Took showers once again. Put on our pajamas once again. And tried to get some sleep. However it wasn't really easy with the rain still battering against the windows and the walls of the house. There was also the fear that the water would come back into the basement.
In the morning the basement was still a little damp. There was water in the coal cellar, but not as much as there was the night before. There was no time for any more family fun, as I had to get to work. My husband was able to wrap things up on his own with some help from our son. As I write this there are several fans going in the basement in an attempt to truly dry out the utility rugs that we have down there. The back door to the basement is open to also bring some air in as I'll admit the basement does not smell very good. (Is there such a thing as a good smelling unfinished basement?)
The day after the storm is always bright and sunny (or so it seems.) Our family fun night was one for the books (or at least for the blog) Here's hoping that we don't have another one...at least for a LONG time.