Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man-Law #16: After the Hurricane

I'm only going to dedicate this one blog to Hurricane Irene. I know it's been all over the TV & Internet since Friday; so I don't want to beat a dead horse here.  Also, I've been busting my ass cleaning flooded basements with no power, so consider this a Monday Man-Law, as well as an everyday rant.

Before the first drops of rain started to fall on Friday, I wasn't worried about the storm. If anything, I kind of scoffed at it, while everyone was freaking out about it. 

Now, in no way was I ignoring the ferociousness of this storm.  Quite the opposite in fact. I knew I'd have to deal with flooded basements, power outages and who knows what else.  If you've noticed, I used the plural form of everything I'd be dealing with.  But back to that later.

I knew I'd be doing a lot of work over the next few days.  My back would be hurting, I'd be soaked in god knows what, and I'll get little to no sleep.  So why bother freaking out about anything?  The rain and winds were out of my control, so why be worked up?  As long as a tree didn't fall on the house or cars, I knew I could deal with everything.

I started prepping for the storm Friday by taking as much out of the basement as possible.  Not much was left except for floor tiles.  As water was seeping into the basement, I was doing my best to vacuum it out. 

Then, power went out around 3am.  So what did I do?  I went straight to sleep.  My back was already a mess and I was beat.  So I ignored the flood so I can get ready to clean in the morning.

Luckily, my neighbor is an electrician. He came by around 6am to help me rig a sub pump to my truck as a power source.  It didn't fix the problem, but it helped keep it at bay.

Later on after the sun rose, it was back to work, but with buckets.  A buddy came over to help deal with the water.

We made a decent dent in the water level, but then his phone rang. His wife called to say their basement toilet was overflowing.  So we stopped to check out his house.

We expected a few inches at most. So imagine our shock when he had about 14 inches or so!!!

We couldn't stop the toilet.  So we did the next best thing.  We tool a welcome mat, and a dumbbell to clog it.  Luckily, that stopped it, for the time being.

We worked hours on end to deal with it.  We didn't stop moving.  Another friend came over with a generator and a super duty pump.  It helped a lot!  After that, a shop-vac cleaned the rest. 

By the time I got home, we had power.  I hooked up another pump to the fuse panel, and the water was rushing out of the house.  I was finally winning!  So I took a break outside the house by eating lunch on the stoop. 

My other neighbor, an older gentleman, was outside too.  He told me that he had water in the basement, and was waiting for his son to come over to help.

His kid lives in Pittsburgh.  So I inhaled my sandwich, and went to work on his house.  Within 2-3 hours, he was back to normal.  No real damage. Just a few slightly wet tiles. 

Three basements all filled with water, all in a 48 hour span. 
So what’s the point of rambling like this?  This is why…

Man-Law #16: Help Your Fellow Man

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Just because everything is going good for you, doesn’t mean you can relax.  

If you’re able to lift a finger, than you better use it to help someone out.  We’re able to get through this weekend one way.  By helping each other out, people are able to bounce back quicker than expected.

Am I sore today at work?…Yes
Is my back in knots?…Yes
Would I love a good nights sleep?…Yes

But am I glad I helped everyone out?…damn right Yes!!!

We need to look out for each other and lend a hand when possible.  Hopefully, we won’t have to help with flooding anytime soon :P

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