Just after putting the kids to bed last night at the beach, we got a call from our neighbor. Never good, when you're on vacation, right? Well, this one was a doozy. It seems that Mechanicsburg had The Storm of the Century yesterday afternoon/evening. The official rain fall total stands at 7 1/2 inches in three hours, but our neighbor's rain gage collected 8 1/2! Can you even imagine?!?
Our neighbor was calling to tell us that our back yard was flooded and our basement was taking on water FAST. From the many accounts that we have been collecting from different neighbors with varying vantage points, there were around 14 different people in and out of our house helping to bail it out!!!! ...all while we were casually lounging in our beach house!
I SO wish I had pictures of the flood waters for myself and to share, but the descriptions of those who saw it first hand will have to suffice. Apparently, the water in the back yard was pooling against our house, hemmed in by a barrier of mulch (created by the raging waters) along the chain link fence. The "lake" stretched from the back of the house out to our little maple tree, about fifteen feet into the yard and was up to the kitchen and dining room window sills. I'm NOT kidding. As hard as I find this to believe, each eye witness' story has been the same!!!! The water took over the screened in porch, as well, which is why we now have a porch full of sopping wet mulch. Thankfully, our neighbors discovered Lake Weaver about 1/4 of an inch before it would have spread into the kitchen and family room. CRAZY!!!!
After bailing with any vessel they could find and trying (unsuccessfully) to syphon the water using a hose and someone's mouth, they finally solicited the help of yet another neighbor with a pool pump. Apparently, this worked rather well on the burgeoning window wells.
Meanwhile, in our basement, other people moved ALL of our belongings away from the waterfall, I mean west wall. The Basement Crew saved so much for us!!! They emptied our file drawers, took everything off the walls and shelves, wet-vacced our carpet, took our towels home and washed and dried them...
Once we digested all of this late last night, it was evident that we just needed to pack up and head home a day early. I'm glad we did. We have A LOT of clean-up ahead of us. But we are SO grateful to our AWESOME neighbors and friends for saving our home. I can't even imagine what we would have walked into tomorrow if no one had noticed that our little house was drowning.
Now in addition to the normal "returning from vacation" stuff like laundry and grocery shopping, we'll add clearing out the utility room, drying out files, shop vacc-ing (again) and shampooing our carpets, contacting the insurance agency and/or companies about new carpeting, drainage issues, etc.
Ahhh, I love returning from vacation. I just feel so relaxed and at ease with life...
And you know what? As CRAZY as our situation is, it's not Katrina or a huge tornado or a terrible earthquake or a tsunami. In many ways, it's a good reminder of how lucky we are in so many ways. ...a pain-in-the-neck, time-consuming, musty-smelling reminder, but good nonetheless. :-)