Saturday, October 06, 2007

Flooding During the NJ Drought...

It's hard to imagine that we lived in Athens, PA on the Susquehanna River in the flood plain for 16 years without having flood problems but instead, our house got flooded yesterday in NJ in a drought.

The hose to the washer (on the 2nd floor) broke yesterday when I was away. I was in Flemington, NJ giving a quilt talk so I had all my best quilts in a suitcase with me, thank heavens! Then I went to Philly to pick up Michelle (our granddaughter) and learned from a police phone call that we had a "water problem" on the way home.

It appears the water ran for a goof 5 hours or more...filling the entire house except our bedroom & bathroom, kitchen & family room. When I got home, there were 3 rescue squads, 1 fire truck and 5 police cars were waiting in our street for me. Fortunately, the police department had called me on my cell phone 10 minutes before we got there or I might have freaked out totally! We were only told we had a water problem... I thought the hot water heater sprung a leak - it's old. But this was worse. The house is not livable and things are presently up in the air. Here is the pertinent info.

We did get our computers, 2 printers, 2 sewing machines out last night and today. We also brought over 2 TV trays to put our computers on - the table here is about 5" taller than the TV trays & the chairs require bed pillows for us to use the table. No wheels on the chairs, either.

Had the "Remedial Crew" out all day today - 10 people plus the project manager! They packed up stuff - nothing is in any order nor is anything labeled, but it's packed. We may need to rent a pod to store it all in while the interior is worked on... Then they ripped out lots of what has to go. We have a huge dumpster in the driveway that's already more than 1/2 full.

We're meeting with the adjuster tomorrow (Sunday) at 10am - the plumber is also coming then. It seems they couldn't get the water to the washing machine to get all the way turned off...

The electrician is coming at 8 am tomorrow. He's installing a whole new circuit box because the old one was flooded and he couldn't get new circuits to fit it anywhere until Tuesday, at the earliest. Since the fans & dehumidifiers need power to work, that's the next level of priority. There is a major problem in that all the ceiling light fixtures downstairs have been removed... not to mention other possible water/electricity potential problems. That's in the electricians competent hands. Then to get the plumbing back on so we can use the facilities!

Upstairs, only the master bath was undamaged. Our bedroom had some carpet damage - will probably be replaced with everything else. The work crew removed all the carpeting upstairs & down the steps, plus 12" or so of drywall at the bottoms of the office and 3' at the bottom of the laundry room.

Downstairs was worse, if that could be possible. The parquet tile was destroyed and now is gone from the entire first floor - not that it's going to be missed! Well, yet it is, but it will be nice to have something else... My office will loose at least the bottom of the wall backing to the garage plus the tops of a two other walls.. The dining room lost 8" or so on a few walls. With the power out, the freezer food was lost for the 3rd time since we got back from Ireland...

The garage is a total washout - all drywall & insulation removed. As they removed the ceiling, water just poured out from above... which is Frank's office, and that may need a new sub-floor - don't know yet. Have no idea what, if anything, can be saved that was stored in the garage..

Best guess at the moment is we'll be without a house for a month or so. The earliest work can begin will probably be a week from Monday. We'll need to get 3 estimates first.

Once we've met with the adjuster, we'll have a bit more info as to how it will al go forward. Our policy looks great on paper, so we'll find out how it really is soon.

I've taken lots of photos - will post them later...

We're exhausted but SO grateful for everyone's help and so glad it wasn't a fire, or worse than it is.


Vicki W said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you! It reminded me that I need to replace my washer hoses - I try to remember to do it every 5 years but I think it's been longer!

David Walker said...

More and more I'm becoming a firm believer that water causes more blessings and problems than any other force of nature, which, of course, includes fire and earthquakes, tornadoes, and any other natural event. One drip after another added together, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, has the potential of turning quickly into disaster. I have experienced this in my own life over the past 15 years.

Hopefully, (and I know you can do this) you can keep calm/balanced during this time of recovery, tending to the order of what needs to be done to rebuild your home.

Beate Knappe said...

I'm sorry to hear this happened to You.
I hope everything get well soon

Anonymous said...

Quite the unwelcome surprise, huh?

Hi. I'm Jen, a friend of Michelle's. She sent me to read your journal entry when I told her that my dorm/apartment flooded this past Monday. Water crept into all of our rooms and flooded out our downstairs neighbors; it came pouring right through their power breaker. My roommates and I were lucky - we've no major damage, except mildew in the carpets and a couple of towels that were stolen when we hung them out to dry [some college kids will steal anything, I guess! Haha.] The guys who live downstairs lost a lot of their belongings, are living without electricity and are waiting for their ceiling panels to finish caving in.

It's clear that what happened to your home is much more extreme, though. Sorry to read about all that damage!

Anyway, I was commenting to say I hope that you can salvage most of your belongings and can move back in soon! Best wishes!

-Jen in Oregon