Monday, February 16, 2009


I got a call Sunday morning from my neighbour across the street giving me the heads up that he had a foot of water in his basement and it was rising fast. I had seen on the news the night before that flooding had been expected due to some very mild weather and the amount of snow we have had this winter. To be honest I assumed we were far enough from the river that there would be little impact on my street.

I had noticed the day before a small creek that runs one block over had overflowed its banks and was flooding the backyards of the houses on the street. The Thames River itself, which runs along the East end of town about 1/2 km from my house had flooded its banks as well. The roads and bridges were still passable, but not by much. According to the weather reports the water was 17 feet above normal levels, which is just 3 feet short of the record around these parts, the "Great Flood of 1937". The link takes you to a picture gallery available at The Virtual Museum website.

The more I think about it, we are pretty much due for another one of those. I check out the basement and sure enough, it is submerged in about 6 inches of water and rising fast. For a short period of time I was down there with my wet-dry ShopVac, which was a bit like trying to bail out the Titanic with a teacup. Within the hour my father-in-law showed up with a pump rented from a hardware store about 20 minutes away. Within a couple hours the basement was empty but the water was still coming. Later that afternoon I started to get worried again, as the water was rising faster then the pump could get it out. We seemed to gain the upper hand in the early evening, and today I can thankfully say the basement is if not dry, at least no longer flooded.

I don't have a finished basement thankfully, but I will likely need to replace some drywall and insulation or risk mould. My wife cleaned out the ruined stuff today while I was at work, basically a pickup truck full of junk that wasn't worth much. Old paperback novels (Heinlein, Asimov, etc.) and boxes of old University textbooks that I didn't even read when I was in University. A couple boxes of old shoes and clothes that don't fit and assorted boxes of crap that for some reason I never got around to throwing out.


xoggoth said...

We have a small stream at the bottom of our garden which usually has a trickle but on rare occasions can be a torrent.

Due to the layout of the land the worst it can do to us is pour over a flower bed but the scum neighbour is not so lucky and he has stupidly made things worse by channeling it into a too concrete narrow pipe on his property to get a few more square feet of garden.

Most gratifying last year when a downpour flooded his kitchen.

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