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A Frustrating Flood

One of the most frustrating experiences I’ve had is recently, in April, when my house (settled in the northern Chicago suburbs) flooded for the 3rd time in the past couple of years. We had new carpet put in on our bottom two floors - the living room and sub-basement where we previously flooded and were about to flood again less than a year earlier. The last time the storm window in the sub-basement literally had a waterfall of flowing water running inside along with a waterfall flowing along the path of least resistance from the living room stairs leading into the sub basement. Each time including most recently, the majority of water flooding into our house was backed up sewage.

I can remember this April, one night there was a severe thunderstorm rolling through the northern suburbs tagged by the meteorologists with a flood warning. My family had gone to bed, I was still up in my bedroom with the door open and I heard the sound of a bathtub filling up downstairs. We don’t have a bathtub downstairs. I knew that’s what I heard the last time we flooded so I went downstairs to the living room and sure enough water was shooting out of the drains of the bathroom down there as well as the room next to it which was the laundry room like miniature fountains. The whole living room was already flooded with a few inches of water and the sub basement, as i opened the door and let a wave of fresh flood water flow down the stairs, was already up to my knees in water. The coffee table was floating back and forth.

There was no way to stop the fountains of water spewing up fresh, lovely, sewage, as our sub-pump was working and the water was too high to try and plug it (maybe sandbags would have worked)…The main problem was with the town’s sewer system being backed up and that wasn’t going to subside anytime soon. The water level outside had engulfed the entire street (Rest In Peace the cars parked out there) and was slowly rising past the sidewalk onto our front lawn.

I knew what this meant for me for the immediate future - my mom and sister wouldn’t be doing any strenuous physical labor and my dad had health problem limiting his physical ability to lift anything heavy as well. Just as I imagined, it was upto me after the flood waters had receded to do the majority of ripping and pulling up of all the soaked carpet and padding then carrying out each container for our work room up to the garage for temporary storage. I had finished most of this within a few days but then we also had to do a lot of cleaning and sanitizing so we could put all the salvageable items (including most of the storage) back. By the end of all of this I was sore I could barely lift my arms for weeks to come.

I want to say I wish I had moved away when I had the chance but knowing how much I was able to help this time we flooded, I’m glad I was living back at home when this happened and could help right away.

Literature


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