Saturday, February 21, 2009

watery adventure

Pounding and the doorbell woke us at 1:50 this morning. E. went to see what was up, I heard a female voice, and when he didn't come back to bed I peeked through the Venetian slats to see our barefoot neighbor standing on the street, up which ran a trickle of water. Fire? A burst water pipe up the street?

A look out the living room window a minute later clued me in that this was not up the street but right beside our unit. Bubbling from the ground with the sound and energy of a spring river was a gusher that had already filled our side yard, the front yard, and was coursing down the street. Unless it was soon stanched, it would invade our garage, crawl space and den. We looked on in horror. What to do?

A few minutes later a fire truck arrived. The crew called the city waterworks people and then milled around in their bulky waterproofs, not seeming to know exactly what else to do either.

Every time I checked, the water level was higher. Maybe 15 minutes later, E. went into the crawl space and found seepage.

While I was back and forth helping him clear boxes and suitcases into the den I saw tea-colored liquid seep from under one of our storage shelves and spread over the laminate flooring. So we made a mad scramble to get everything off the den floor. One of the firemen suggested we shop-vac the water. While we fumbled our little-used shop-vac together, the neighbor brought his over and the "bailing" began.

E. said I should call our strata management company. Lo and behold, I was able to get a live person on the line at this unsightly hour. While I was on the phone to her, news came that the city works guy had shut the water off -- albeit all the water to the entire 41-units.

Meanwhile strata management and I were back and forth about getting a restoration company on scene (and would you believe a company [appropriately called "Angel"] arrived to set up powerful dehumidifiers and fans before 4:30 a.m.). The bad news is that no matter how they dehumidify, the laminate flooring will need to be replaced -- the whole room of it even though only one side of the room flooded. We're talking nasties here -- emptying three bookshelves and several storage cupboards, moving an old upright piano that weighs about 3000 lbs., and living with a garage-full of stuff while the reno gets done.

But it could have been so much worse. What if our neighbor hadn't woken us up? What if we hadn't been home? There is much to be thankful for!

Kudos too to the people who make themselves available at night -- firemen, city workers, a plumber who came in the wee hours so that this morning we woke to taps that once again give us water.

This is the sinkhole left in our side yard. What's with this spot. It's very near the place that was dug up last year to search for another water leak. I'm beginning to think we live beside the Bermuda Triangle of Wyndham Lane.


Lilly Jones said...
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Lilly Jones said...

Gosh, sorry to hear of your water incident & we certainly should be thankful to city workers, firemen and the like because they do so much for our communities. As for your neighbour, a friend in need is a friend indeed. Stay blessed.


violet said...

Thanks Lilly! You're so right. The neighbor felt bad for waking us up. We told her NO, THANKS A MILLION!!

Slow'n'Steady said...

Oh dear oh dear, that is a huge task. Glad you were spared any worse damage. We just organized our basement storage/rec room and I hate to think if we encountered the same thing... ack.

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