I briefly mentioned in my guest room makeover post that we had re-done our finished basement after the “Great Flood of 2010”. We’re coming up on the fourth anniversary of that awful chapter in our lives and I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little nervous with the snow melt and rain every spring.
It was late March 2010 that it happened. We’d only been in our house, our very first, for about a year and a half. There was record rainfall and snow melt that year. While we’re not technically in a flood zone, that didn’t seem to matter. The next town over was under a warning that the dam might burst, which in turn would have knocked out our town dam.
When it finally happened, Tara had come home from work early and saw the water was up to our bottom step. She called me at work to let me know and, of course, I freaked out. I was home shortly after that and we started immediately going into “what do we do” mode.
Tara’s boss came up and brought his wet/dry vac. We then were able to borrow a sump pump and some PVC pipe from one of Tara’s friends to start getting the water out. Tara’s boss and the two of us started pumping right away and were at it until close to midnight. It was freezing cold water because A) it was March in New England and B) the furnace was out because of the water. The oil company wouldn’t come out to fix the furnace until the water was completely removed from the basement because it was a safety hazard. This meant wearing socks and water shoes to try to keep our feet warm while we were working.
We got up the next morning to get back to it (minus Tara’s boss) and were making some progress until we had a knock at the door. It was the National Guard going door to door telling us we needed to evacuate due to the issue with the dams. Tara’s bosses were SO generous, letting us stay with them and even bring our cat, Boomer, with us even though one of them was allergic to cats! We had to stay there for two days and were finally told we could go home.
We finally got the water out and then the work really began – we needed to knock out the bottom half of the walls where it could have gotten moldy. If you ever want to learn how to fix your house, there is nothing like an emergency to make you quite knowledgable! We were so lucky that Tara’s boss is such a handy guy because he helped us do all the work ourselves.
Once we had gotten all the water out and were working on tearing the walls down, we finally had the oil company come out to repair the furnace. Of course, this didn’t fall under our plan that covered repairs because it was an act of nature. This meant we were out $1100 for them to repair it and get us heat and hot water again! That was a rude awakening. We were lucky though – we were able to get funds from FEMA and a little bit from our insurance to help cover repairs. If we hadn’t done the work ourselves, it wouldn’t have covered it all, but like I said, we got lucky in many ways.
Those rolls were the flooring we decided to install. The basement previously had awful blue carpeting (that was NOT fun to rip out, btw) to go with those half painted red walls. We knew we definitely didn’t want carpeting in case we ever flooded again. Where I worked, we sold athletic equipment and this included rubber gym flooring. I used my awesome discount, we measured out the basement and there we had it. It was definitely a good choice because we get water every so often now.
Here are some other pics and articles about it: