Saturday, September 03, 2011

Quick Flood Update

The floodwaters have receded (I may have pictures, and a longer post, later), and the cleanup is mostly done -- we had a bunch of teenage boys (the son of our electrician and some of his friends) pulling junk out of the basement for two days, and then today was spent mostly cleaning.

It's still officially the very worst vacation of my entire life, but the basement is now empty and almost entirely clean. And we got a new hot water heater yesterday, so we can take showers and wash dishes in the house now. (Still missing: new furnace, clothes washer, dryer, and every last piece of furniture or walls that we might want in that now-empty basement.)

It was the worst-ever flood in human memory in these parts -- a good foot worse than the previous worst storm (another hurricane in 1984), and it covered my entire yard with brackish river water at its worst last Sunday night. There's now daily garbage pickups, working their way through the massive piles of debris and trash, and we're still dragging our garbage out to the street. (And I'm planning to spend most of tommorow in the back yard, trying to salvage as much as I can of my CD collection -- the cases and booklets are toast, but I'm dunking the CDs themselves in a light bleach solution to disinfect them and getting them into big organizer books.)

So things look lousy here, but it's been such a long way up from last Sunday night -- when I thought the whole house might be unlivable -- that it feels like progress and a good thing.

But I still lost about 300 linear feet of books (call it somewhere between 5,000 and 7,500 books in all), around 5,000 comics, hundreds of magazines -- plus most of our Christmas ornaments, letters to and from The Wife when I was at college, our old prom photos, and lots of other sentimental stuff -- the basement was my office plus our storage space, and we didn't have time to think about the storage stuff as the waters rose.

Here's where I'm supposed to say "we're all OK, and that's what really matters" -- but hardly anyone dies in a NJ river flood, unless they're really stupid or unlucky. So just making it out alive and unscathed isn't actually notable. Life will go on, but that doesn't change the fact that this was a horrible week, and I intend to take it up with The Management.

1 comment:

Jay Lake said...

I am very sorry to be reading of all this. As you say, it's just stuff, not lives, but stuff can be awfully important. And the waste. I hope things continue to get better.

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