In the eighteen years we’ve owned our house, the basement has only flooded once. (I mean really flooded, not just partially wet from a hot water heater going.) That statement was true last week. No longer. We now have about four inches of water in the lower end of the basement, and an inch in the higher end.
We’ve had days of nonstop rain here in the Northeast, and flooding is rampant. Everywhere you walk, you see hoses pumping water out of basements. I checked last night and found water here and there, but not enough to pump. So I didn’t set up the sump pump, but instead scurried around outside at midnight jury-rigging an extension to the downspout at the worst corner, trying to redirect the water out into the yard. Today I ventured down to see how effective I’d been—and found a swimming pool.
Our little pump is now cranking its heart out, trying to lower the water level. I went to the hardware store for some downspout extensions, and while I was there they sold the last of the 75 sump pumps they had just gotten in this morning.
Unfortunately, I had to unplug the forced air intake that’s hooked to our first-floor rental apartment’s boiler. The wiring for it was under water. That left our tenant Jill without heat, because of the interlock system between it and the boiler. (A pretty unnecessary interlock, because there’s plenty of drafty air in the basement.) So I just finished playing bomb squad, figuring out how to bypass the interlock. Is it the red wire and the white wire? The green and the white? The red and the green? I connected the red and the green, and the boiler kicked on. Success! (These were low-voltage wires, not house current, I should add. I wasn’t about to fry myself just to make the boiler come on.)
I feel a bit like Dr. McCoy. “By golly, Jim. I’m beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!” And so, after a fashion, I did. 🙂