Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dealing With A Flood

Most renovations are not going to go according to plan.  That's a given.  It's frustrating but usually expected.  That weekend project extends to a 3 month project, etc.  What most renovations don't expect are natural disasters.  Yep, we had one.  We had a natural disaster.  A flood of historic proportions.  And hail.  And tornadoes.  A harrowing week to be sure.

 This tornado was 2 miles west of our house

We had an idea the rain and bad weather were coming, but not this bad.  Worst of all it was happening at night.  As we watched the news and saw the constant emergency warnings, imminent danger, and take cover now scrolling across the screen, we were worried.  The husband was at work so we were also separated.  I was at home coming up with all sorts of crazy scenarios and picking which tree I would have to climb and eventually be rescued from by a helicopter.  I also changed out of my pj's back into regular clothes because I knew my helicopter rescue would also be televised and I thought being in pj's might be embarrassing. 

 Our front yard several hours after the worst of the rain

Terrible things happened that night.  Whole houses and families were swept away.  Some are still missing.  Whole neighborhoods were flooded and ruined.  Access to highways was closed.  Electricity, cable, and internet were cut off.  Our home was spared.  Since we had only moved in less than a month, we were completely unsure about water drainage and flood issues.  We could have just sunk all our money into something that was about to be washed away.

 A low water crossing several days after the rain.  The debris on the yellow barrier indicates the water came up this high.  Actually it rose up much, much higher.  They say this river rose 40 feet.

To add to our worry, the Walmart flooded and had to be closed.  No big deal?  Ha!  Walmart is next to the river that was currently washing everything away.  Our storage units which held 90% of our things, so we could renovate uncluttered, were next to the river next to Walmart.  So our house was saved but we were still in a position to lose almost everything.  The roads were closed so all we could do was wait.

 Walmart was closed for several days.  They partially reopened but could only shop the outer perimeter aisles.  The entire center of the store was closed off.  It looks massive compared to the size of the people in the picture.

Once the roads opened we headed to the storage to see what could be saved.  All the houses for several miles in both directions had been flooded.  The Red Cross was across the street from our storage helping residents.  It was grim.  People everywhere pulling everything out of their homes.  Ruined.
We pulled into the storage and expected the worst.  What we found was a miracle.  Everything was dry.  Our storage wasn't on higher ground.  Somehow all the water was diverted in a circle around the storage.  We recognized it for the miracle it was.  With more rain in the forecast we weren't going to throw this miracle away.  The race was on!

 Sad seeing possessions tossed out.  Sadder when it's toys.

We had a limited amount of time to rescue our things and keep it from getting rained on as we moved it.  We spent several days loading a trailer, a truck, and van and brought everything to the house.  Now the house is stacked with boxes everywhere.  As I move through the maze I realize we are blessed.  The renovation will continue a little late and a lot more cluttered than intended.  If that's the worst, then truly there is no room for complaint.

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