Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Week Ends with a Force

Photo from

Well, I finally made it through the week but not before dealing with the aftermath of hurricane-force winds.

It's been raining all week but Thursday added very strong and powerful gusts of wind. Friday morning at 4 am, I awoke to no electricity. I went downstairs grabbed the flash light. Sure enough my neighbors were out. I went down into the basement. The battery back up sump pump had kicked in but was straining. It's not as powerful as the main one.

I called National Grid, reported the power outage and went back to bed. There wasn't much I could do.

I got up a couple hours later, still no power. Which meant no coffee (I was devastated) and no hot shower (thanks to my energy saving ideas and getting a tankless system). I went back down to check the basement, the battery back up was still maintaining but barely -- only an inch or so till it would spill over. "Great," I said with sarcastic flare.

We went to work. No heat, no electricity, staying home wasn't going to solve anything. Plus the sun was out, the worst was behind us.

Driving to work I realized just how intense the storm had been. First off my neighbors shutter was in my driveway and branches were strewn all over my yard but that was nothing. My street was spared. Along my drive I noticed the neighborhood stop lights were not working and were twisted from the wind. Along my short drive I saw big highway signs down. Enormous trees toppled onto cars, houses and blocking streets. Wires down all over.

Another storm photo from

At work, we had power but our security system had taken a jolt. The elevators weren't working and doors had to be left unlocked because our pass keys wouldn't open them.

Around lunch time I went back home to check on things. As I got closer to my house it looked as if power had been restored to the neighborhood. And thankfully my electricity was on but not in time.

When I walked into the house, I could hear the main sump pump chugging away but that's normal. We live on a river bed and it goes on and off quite a bit to prevent water from coming in. I went into the basement and apparently the battery back up hadn't been able to handle the volume during the power outage. At this point there was about an inch of water all over the floor. It looked as if the highest the water had gotten to was about 2 inches but with the main sump pump on it had cleared alot out.

Again not much I could do at this point. I let the sump pump continue its thing, went back to work to close up a few loose ends for the day and left early. By the time I got back home, the sump pump was off. The water was gone but now was the clean up.

Knowing that the basement is prone to flooding we keep nothing on the floor. In fact the furnace is mounted to the ceiling and the water tank (tankless system I mentioned early) is mounted to the wall. So I spent the afternoon squeegeeing puddles, sweeping and drying out the basement.

Thank God it's the weekend. More so, thank God the storm wasn't worse!


Lemuel said...

I am happy to read that you (or a builder) were thinking ahead in the placement of the systems in your basement so that they were not damaged in your basement flooding. I am also happy to read that you were - for the most part - spared major damage and are safe.
I had read about the torrential rains your way. We also had the wind but I think because we were on the "backdraft" of the storm we only had a few inches of snow.
Stay safe!

A Lewis said...

Holy Smokes! I've been thinking about you all week long -- sending you good wishes for better days ahead. Is this like the "Lion and Lamb" thing??

Peter said...

Rick, I'm glad to hear you, Chris and Bandit weren't that bad hit by that weather.
Let's hope Spring starts soon, I've had it with all that wintery weather!

tornwordo said...

A river bed?! Isn't that like asking for a flood? I'd be askeered to live there. Glad it was only a minor cleanup for you. Oh and now when Serge bugs me about the tankless water heater, I can bring up this cautionary tale.

Rick said...

Well, close to a river. Near a 100 year flood zone.