Apr 29, 2009
Or should I say, a non-smoking ruin. Our home in Bear Creek (west of Houston, TX) filled with 14" of water from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning. We got 11" of rain in three hours. Flooding has been worsening in this area for several years. Why? Harris County insists on approving new development permits in our watershed, and the US Army Corps of Engineers has not expanded out drainage infrastructure to handle the additional runoff.
The water came up so fast there was no time to get anything much off the floors, so most of our furninshings and appliances are destined for the landfill. We had to swim the dogs to the house next door which is about 6 inches higher than ours. Maggie was on the couch in the office and would have floated out of the house on it had we stayed any longer. Our neighbor's house was entirely flooded throughout, but at less than half the level of ours. We just picked a bed as an island and spent a couple of shocked hours waiting for the rain to stop and the water to go down enough to head back into our own home. I barely had time to be scared things happened so quickly, but the worst was swimming at the side of the house with our dalmatian who doesn't swim. I lost all my work shoes and flip flops in the flood, so my feet are raw from being wet for nearly 24 hours.
From about 6:00 to 11:00 Dave and I just sat on the tailgate of the truck and waited for the water to recede enough to get started on cleanup. Honestly, in situations like this you just don't know where to begin. Our living room is sunken by about 5 inches, and we were able to pump out about half that amount. After that, it was down to hand-bailing it out the back door. Funny. I didn't cry much yesterday, but I'm a complete waterworks this morning faced with the monumental task that awaits. All this on top of Dave remaining unemployed, me being disabled and sick, Mom being sick and needing assistance... all we need now is a walloping dose of Swine Flu and maybe we won't NEED to worry about this any longer!
With help from my brother-in-law, Mike and our good biker buddy, Deano, we managed to get the carpet out of one bedroom and make it habitable enough until the rest of the house gets gutted today. God bless Bear Creek United Methodist Church for sending out voluteers this morning to help get out the wrecked furniture and carpet. We have another crew due this afternoon to tackle the sheetrock. The smell is indescribable. And many, MANY thanks to Katie who is salvaging what photos she can of our turn of the century relations. Most of you know of my passion for genealogy, and the loss of those photos hurts me more than anything else. Even my heirloomed wedding dress went under. It's currently hanging outside and I'm hoping it can be salvaged. Who knows?
Mom has been a rock since she learned about our situation. I can say in all honesty that our financial situation is so dire, we wouldn't survive this without her help. Hmmmm... I wonder if that would extend to some of her tranquilizers? ;-)
I have Mom's car over here and it got some water on the floorboards. We'll tackle gettting that towed and checked out today. Don't know yet if the Harley survived the deluge, but the truck is fine. The pool is nothing but a seething, black cesspool of raw sewage and things I don't even want to discover.
That's it for now. I'll send a link to photos as soon as I can find the cable I need to get them out of the camera and into the computer.