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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » I'm All Wet - Jenny's Landmark Thread

   
Author Topic: I'm All Wet - Jenny's Landmark Thread
Jenny Gardener
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Hello Hatrack!

Over the weekend, I've been fighting a flood. I just wanted to let you know. Will post the full long story here later. Must rest now. Come back in a few days, and I'll add the story in an edit.

(edit - P.S. I can't be reached. My phone lines are down and I am posting from my dad's computer. Don't worry, I'm okay and so is my family. I've got stories to tell. But don't worry if you don't hear from me for a little while.)

******edited to add this big long post*******
We knew when we bought the house that it could flood. The previous owners told us that, indeed, water had been in the lower level (we own a tri-level) “a couple of inches” during a rare-occurrence flood event. The bank confirmed that we did not need flood insurance, for our home was not located in a floodplain. Also, the previous owners had invented a flood barrier that would go across the doorways to keep water out – but no floods had occurred to test them. Convinced that flooding was a minor issue in an otherwise beautiful location, my husband (then fiancé) happily purchased our house.

About two years later, we experienced our first flood. I was overdue with my daughter at the time (end of June 1998). We watched the flood waters rising, rapidly approaching our house. My husband, a very capable and “handy” fellow, immediately erected the flood barriers. They did not do the job. The water came in under the sill of the house. I don’t remember if we had remodeled the lower level by that time or not, but there were no significant damages. Many of our neighbors suffered damages, and in one place the water spread over the road.

Learning our lesson, my husband proceeded to design and build a floodwall. I asked that it be aesthetic, and the result was a 3-tiered raised garden all around the back of the house. There were two “doorways” that could be boarded off in a flood event. My hubby was pretty sure it would work, and I was delighted with the garden.

The wall was tested in January of the following year. My baby was 7 months old, so I could not help. Unfortunately, the dirt had not yet settled in the garden beds, and water found its way in again. Fortunately, our neighbors had taught us how to measure and predict the floodwaters. We managed to pull all our furniture and our relatively new carpeting out of the lower level. I do remember that we had to get new carpet padding. The water was ankle deep in my home for a few hours. It was very disheartening.

Around this time, we went to our first local government meeting. FEMA, the federal agency that handles emergency was working with our county government to buy out houses that were located in the floodway. Two of our neighbors were not allowed to fix their flooding damages at all, and they were bought out (but it took about a year…). Although our home was not in desperate condition, we were placed on the list for contiguity purposes.

Over the last five years, the water rose in our backyard many times. However, it never came too close to the house.

July 4, 2003. The rain rain rain came down down down. We were visiting my inlaws for the holiday. When we checked the weather to plan our day on Sunday, we could tell from the maps that our area had more than enough rain to trigger a flood event. My hubby had improved our wall system, but if no one was there to put the “doors” on the walls, they wouldn’t do us much good. We called a neighbor who is out of the flooding danger (and is also a good friend) and begged them to buy 50 bags of topsoil to bag up the entrances until we got there.

We were speeding home, a 2 hour trip in pouring rain, not knowing what we might find.

Thank goodness! The water was halfway up our hill, which means that we had time. We put stakes out in the yard, marked at every inch. Then we called friends for help! To our delight, friends of friends – people we had never met – gladly came and helped move our furniture. Michael had plenty of time to create a spreadsheet to measure the rising of the creek and properly affix the doors (new design: double doors with a space between). We laid down plastic sheeting, affixed the wooden doors with super foamy stuff, and filled the space with topsoil and bricks. We set up the sump pumps (we had 2). And we watched the flood coming up – at about 7 inches per hour. The friends who had helped move our furniture had gone. I had also sent my daughter to my folks’ house, at the other end of town.

Meanwhile, in our city, some sewer systems had failed from the tremendous rainfall. People everywhere had nasty poopy water in their basements. The town was in crisis. And the water was rising. We watched the water lick at the bottom of the wall. It started coming in through the septic pit, which is behind the wall. My hubby had well prepared this area as well, and we started the sump pumps. For a while, it all held. But we took the precaution of begging another pump from some friends who had bought one to keep their basement dry (they had just finished using it).

But the water kept coming. From experience, we knew that soon the phones would go out. My hubby called his dad, who promised to come with another pump. And the rain continued to fall. We hoped that the electricity would not go out. We had bought a generator just in case, but would it have enough juice for 4 pumps?

Hubby and I took shifts to watch the pumps. And still the water rose. Darkness fell, with intermittent rain pattering across the black pool that used to be our back yard. Thank goodness it was summer. Water was starting to find little cracks in the wall and slide in a thin film over our patio behind the wall. We kept it at that level. Father-in-law arrived and helped set up the pump.

But the water kept coming. More pressure forced the water through the weak spots. Outside, the water surrounded the wall at least a foot or so. My hubby had a brilliant idea – my daughter’s playdoh became a crack plugger. Behind the wall, the pumps were running constantly and still there was enough water to come up to my ankles. However, the water did not lay against the house. So far, we were surviving.

But the water kept coming. Imagine pitch blackness all around, rain falling intermittently, ferocious lightning thundering overhead, feet submerged in cold dark water, and numb fingers trying to keep neon colored playdoh in the cracks of a wall. Can you? And, of course, no sleep in sight. We could not afford to rest. A neighbor came by and helped plug for a while. The situation was getting pretty bad. Father-in-law had brought some quick-set cement stuff, but had difficulty getting it to work. And the water was within inches of the top of the wall. Still rising, though not as quickly as before. But still rising.
At one point, a neighbor who was unaffected by flooding came by to help a while. We made wattle-and-daub things to stuff in the cracks, for the playdoh was running low. I tore down my garden plants and mixed them with mud, and the neighbor fellow stuffed the cracks. He stayed for a bit and then went on down the road to help some other folks.

Every once in a while, I would be sent to the store for supplies if I could find them – playdoh, topsoil, etc. It was horrible, driving through the night, trying to find roads that were clear, knowing that every minute the water was rising.

We did get one more pump, from an uncle who lived in the area. We now had 5 pumps running, and we were just barely keeping up. By the time the dawn started hinting at coming, we were bailing as well. The water was up to my calves. It licked at the threshold of my house, but did not enter. Not yet.

Still no sleep. Still no peak of the flood. I had fallen in the sump pit twice, severely scratching myself. No rest for the weary. No phone. No sign of an end. And rain kept coming through. The water was at the very top of the wall and threatened to come over. We threw bags of sand and topsoil all along the top. My hubby waded over the wall into the tiered garden and dug it all up and put it on the top of the wall. The beans had just been coming on.

And still we fought. Finally, according to my hubby’s measurements, we determined that “peak” had been reached. The water was no longer rising. We had barely made it. We kept bailing.

My dad came by early in the morning to help. I was shaky and weepy by then. But how could I rest when all my men were working so hard? I went out and bought them breakfast and since the hardware stores were open, found some more quickset cement.

It took all day for the water to go down until we could leave off bailing. And it wasn’t retreating very quickly. AND. There was more rain in the forecast.

Yes, after the water went down enough for us to wipe our brows and snag some time to sit down, it came back up again.

But this time, we had cemented the cracks, which helped immensely. And the water did not come up quite so high.

It took all week for the water to return to its banks. I had to get a tetanus shot and antibiotics for my infected cuts. And then my hubby almost broke his toe when he dropped a masonry block on it.

But the story doesn’t end there. I’ll post more tomorrow.

[ August 06, 2003, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: Jenny Gardener ]

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fugu13
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mmm, titles that are so easy to misconstrue . . .

Scandalicious!

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mackillian
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o_O
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Leonide
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0_o indeed!

Is it just me, or has Hatrack been getting a little more raunchy lately? I think it's hysterical. I'm so used to everyone tip-toeing around, and then i read stuff like this, and CT's comment preserved for posterity in the Out of Context thread...lol. I get such a kick out of that.

*feels bad for derailing Jenny's landmark thread*

I hope you get back into your own house soon, Jenny!

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Morbo
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Are you all wet or just happy to see me?
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Avadaru
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Wow...wasn't sure what to expect with that title. But, uh, good luck with that flood, Jenny!
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Morbo
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Too bad about the flood.

Had a fire once and it took a long time to bounce back

Good Luck
Morbo [Smile]

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twinky
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>> Is it just me, or has Hatrack been getting a little more raunchy lately? <<

It has, and I love it. [Big Grin]

Maybe one of these days I'll let loose my inner devil here on Hatrack. But in the meantime I reserve him for "home with the boys" only.

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Annie
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Call me simple, but what does o_O mean?
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Lalo
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I'm still trying to figure out if it's appropriate for me to Dobie this thread with another titled: "I'm All Wet -- Eddie's Landmark Goes Flaccid."
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Leonide
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o_O is a non-graemlin smilie. Just look at it. It's pretty much the real-face equivalent of your eyes bugging out at something shocking. make sense?
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Annie
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well, it is a stretch, but I think I can see it.

thank you for using that instead of this [Eek!]

I hate the eek face.

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mackillian
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[Wink]
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twinky
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This is as good a place as any to reiterate that we need a devil horns smiley!
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Ela
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I love the eek face. [Smile] [Razz]

[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]

Sorry about your flood, Jenny. Hope you get everything cleared up soon.

**Ela**

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Dan_raven
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Annie--hint hint.

In a thread titled "I'm all wet" don't use the phrase "Its a stretch but I can see it."

0_0

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Leonide
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LMAO.

Dan is my new favorite person.

[Big Grin]

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advice for robots
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Well, if that's all it takes, Kira.

[ July 08, 2003, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: advice for robots ]

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Leonide
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Simple pleasures for simple minds, afr [Smile]
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Pixie
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LOL
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Ethics Gradient
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That is also an apt comment, Leo. [Wink]
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Leonide
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I was referring to myself, silly boy.

[Roll Eyes] Australians...

[Razz] [Razz]

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Jenny Gardener
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I'm sorry - I wasn't thinking of any double entendres when I posted. I did think of the phrase "I'm All Wet" meaning that I don't know what I'm talking about, but I didn't think of the "raunchy" one. I was too wiped out for that.
Just an update - we're fighing wave 2. All the Midwest is washed out and it just keeps on raining. Luckily, the water went down a bit before it came back up. I think we'll make it. But I'm tired and stressed and we're not out of the woods until after Friday.

Good thoughts, prayers, wishes, and magic done on my community's behalf are appreciated.

(posted from a friend's computer when I was checking weather and streamflow data)

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Leonide
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((((Jenny))))

*sends major good thoughts Jenny's way*

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Rakeesh
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I am relieved you are there to help, Andrea, if not that you are suffering through it. I suspect you will be able to lend some much-needed levity and laughter, and all the flood-fighters will be the better for it. God be with you and yours.
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Olivet
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Hon, I hope you and yours are well, and I'll be thinking of you. I'll TRY the magic thing , but I can't make any promises. [Wink]
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Elizabeth
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Good luck, Jenny! Positive thoughts, prayers, and hope coming your way.
Liz

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twinky
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>> I'm sorry - I wasn't thinking of any double entendres when I posted. <<

*snort*

Yeah, right [Big Grin]

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Belle
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Will say a prayer for you, Andrea. *hugs*
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Morbo
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quote:
I'm sorry - I wasn't thinking of any double entendres when I poste
I for one thank you. I thought of that joke above years ago as a male reponse to the old Mae West line.
That's only the 2nd time I used it.

Seriously , best of luck with your flood recovery.
I shall pray for you and yours.
As a british e-mail I chanced across put so well,

With a strangers love and kind regards,
Morbo [Smile]

[ July 09, 2003, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Morbo ]

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Ethics Gradient
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Since when has " [Roll Eyes] Australians..." become a legitimate response to anything? [Razz]

*thinks*

Yeah, I suppose it's fair enough... [Roll Eyes] Americans...

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Toretha
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Good luck! praying for yall!
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Elizabeth
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Has anyone heard from Jenny? Is she OK?
Liz

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Fael
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Jenny I'm thinking of your family. Wish I could do more.
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Jenny Gardener
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I'm Ok! Exhausted, overwhelmed, but amazingly ok. We're getting everything put back together now. I've been working on the promised "landmark post", but it isn't finished yet. My hubby dropped a big masonry block on his toe Sunday, but thank goodness it isn't broken. I was sick Monday, but I think it's more due to being overstressed and tired than anything else. We're not suffering from flood damage, but our house is still a mess (all the furniture from the lower level is in the upper 2 levels, so it's hard to get around!). Will try to post again soon.

Thanks for the concerns and well-wishes etc.

Always,
Andrea
(your Jenny)

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ginette
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Glad to hear you are OK! [Smile]
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celia60
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woohoo! so glad to hear you're back in.

flooding in ft. wayne got the house that some of my friends were renting until a few months ago. lucky for them they moved!

i think lafayette's been pretty lucky. we've had some nights of iffy power, but nothing worse than short interuptions.

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rivka
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Glad you're ok, Andrea! Feel better! And OUCH re the dropped masonry! [Eek!]
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T. Analog Kid
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yeah... I'm glad the masonry block isn't broken [Wink]

hope all settles for you soon, ma'am

[ July 16, 2003, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: T. Analog Kid ]

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Papa Moose
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<Checking in, wondering.>
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Jenny Gardener
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Well, the house is finally put back together. Do you want the Story in installments or one big post? (you'll have to wait longer for the big post but I can do installments in short bursts)
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Papa Moose
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I personally prefer the one big burst method, but that's just me. I just (a) didn't want you to forget because I'm interested to read it, and (b) hoped everything was still ok because you're family and you're loved.

--Pop

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Jenny Gardener
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Hopefully the big burst will be published today. As you will see, the Flood Thing has become political, and my hubby is fast becoming the Local Hero. It's been nuts around here, and Abby goes to Kindergarten next week. Man!
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Jenny Gardener
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*bump*

See my first post, now edited for your reading enjoyment.

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Olivet
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I'm so glad you're okay, and it's behind you. [Group Hug]
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mackillian
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The tragedy of the beans! [Frown]
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Elizabeth
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Wow, Jenny! I'm glad you are all OK. It is good to have you back.

"Water was starting to find little cracks in the wall and slide in a thin film over our patio behind the wall."

How scary! You did a fabulous job sharing this story, and I think you should publish it somewhere.

I feel the sadness of your garden, but Jenny, it will return. I will save some seeds for you this fall and send them. All kinds of reseeding annuals to give you some color while your perennials grow back.

This is no Landmark Thread, though, Jenny. It is definitely a Watermark Thread.

Liz

PS Sorry for the bad joke, but I had to do it.

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Elizabeth
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Also, I forgot to say this:
What an amazing man your husband is! He is so clever. I will never think of Playdough the same way again.

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