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FLOODED in Pennsylvania

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Blog entry by kenn posted 09-09-2011 03:56 AM 1201 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I live at the epicenter of the flood in PA. My little town was unaccessable from all directions yesterday but we can get around now. My current status is about an inch of water made it into the basement and ruined the carpet. No other real damage to my house. My daughter, who’s getting married in8 days in the backyard, has her townhouse they were going to move into on the Susquehanna River. At the moment, water should be entering their 1st floor and current projections put about 4’ in the 1st floor.

Here’s my saga. Katie, my daughter, has had us helping get her home ready over Labor Day wekend. Painted the first floor, mater bedroom and bathroom last Sat. Sunday we worked on cleaning, a few minor repairs and setting up the TV. Mon we worked on hooking up the surroung sound, but I left early because my other daughter was headed back to State College. Tues I worked on my clock wedding gift that I’ve blogged about. Tues on the 11:00 news, the Susquehanna River projection was to crest at 24.5 ft which means for Katie, water on the 1st floor. The last flood they had was 24.4 ft and the carpet stayed dry. I didn’t sleep much thinking about what she should do.

Thurs morning texted and talked to her and advised her to stay home from work and prepare for a flood. By noon she called for help. I checked my sump pump before leaving and the well was full. Jiggled the float and the pump kicked on and started working. Took my son & truck and went to help Katie. Went spent several hours moving all the big stuff up to the second floor. I sent my son home. It took him over 2 hrs for a 20 min drive and without local road knowledge abd GPS help he wouldn’t have made it.

Katie and I finished up. We left 2 couches, a corner cupboard and some bins that her inlaws were to pick up on the 1 st floor. She has some dishes and appliances in the upper cabinets, about 4 1/2 ft off the floor. By then many roads between her location and my house were flooded. My wife was stranded at the Hershey Medical Center where she works. My son wasn’t home yet. I called my step Mom and they went to check on my house & sump pump. They found about an inch of water in the finished basement, carpet ruined, and did a great job saving most of the stuff.

I plotted a route in my head for Katie & I to get to Palmyra going the round about way. We passed flooded field about 1/2 mile wide from 10ft wide creeks. The water was at the white striope on the side of the road there. Later we drove through about a foot of fast flowing water and made it. Traffic backed up everywhere. Saw a cop who told us there was no way into our town from Hershey, 5 miles. made the decision to head to a resturant in Hershey for dinner and drinks because we were going to stay with a friend of Katie’s nearby. Decided against driving through about18” of water and found another way that had us drive through 6” of water.

Made it to an open resturant, Fennicci’s. Dinner, drinks. Katie’s upset, crying then laughing hysteriacally. Her first home with her husband is going to seriously fllood. Her fiance is in Buffalo and who knows how he’ll get here. She’s got 70 people comomg to a house she can’t even reach. We went to Rite Aid for toiletries. the cleck ther tells us she live next to our subdivision and she just got to work, the road is open.

Back to the car and an easy drive home. Called my wife, who had decided to drive about 20 miles around to attempt to get home from the north. She couldn’t and had found a hotel room without power. I told her how she could make it and she did. We spent last night carrying stuff out of the basement and trying to safe what could be saved. My wife and son took turns manually starting and stopping the sump pump all night. Katie & I tried to rest.

Today, Thurs., we’ve got the stuff secured. My tool appear safe. Some clamps got wet. Some wood got stained. The clock project looks safe. It was sitting on a high spot on concete covered with carpet. Thank you, Lord. I just installed a new sump pump so we won’t have to manually operate the switch and we’ll all be able to get some sleep. We’ve started tearing up the carpet, only about a 4’ wide strip so far, but we’ve got a plan and everything together & organized.

My neighbors have a 4’ sinkhole opening by their mailbox and it looks like the ground is about to give way and open it up to 20’. We’ll get the basement carpet out of there Fri and start the dehumindifiers drying things out. sat Katie’s bridesmaid & Mom arrive. They have been in the US for awhile but are from Australia. They were going to stay in the basement but now will head to my Dad’s.

If it dries out soon, we’ll start getting ready for a wedding. The dogs get boarded next Wed, tent arrives Thurs, rehearsal Fri abd wedding Sat. No stress here, huh?

After that, my shop is moving to the larger side of the basement. Former shop side will be storage. We’ll leave the wall and ceiling finished but are done with the carpet. I’m going to put down horse stall mats, ala Chris Schwartz. New area will be 13’6” by 25” with an additionnal bump out for the scroll saw and one that the lathe will llok great in. That might be the best news of this mess, other than all are safe, including the fiance who made it to his Dad’s.

Sorry for the typo and grammer mistakes, I’m tired and not proofreading this. Going to have a bourbon, or two, and watch football. Tomoorow is a new day.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining



9 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10024 posts in 2406 days


#1 posted 09-09-2011 04:30 AM

Ken,
I have been glued to the Weather Channel and Penn State’s Weather World since Monday. When Fred Gadomski said there could be as much as 16” of rain, I couldn’t believe it- Hurricane Agnes all over again. I can’t thank the Good Lord enough for how lucky we have been here in Chambersburg. The rains seemed to dam up against the mountains west of Gettysburg and never crossed- only 15 miles from us. So glad to hear that the damage to your shop is minimal. It looks like the weather will be improving for the weekend so I hope the wedding can go as planned. Tell your daughter when Agnes went through here in 1972, we had 40+ inches of water in the finished basement. Most of the stuff survived- even the TV built into the bar. It was under a foot of water when I got to it. Left it dry for a couple of weeks, cleaned the tuner and used it for many more years. I know it seems devastating now but everyone is alive and material things can be replaced.
Good luck and congrats on the daughters wedding.
Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

624 posts in 1961 days


#2 posted 09-09-2011 04:43 AM

I feel for you Bro!
Our home flooded many time in the 50’S. It is always stressful to see this kind of thing happen.
However, last year, at a family reunion in my home town, we laughed. My siblings and I started talking about the ‘annual flood’. We reminisced about the events, pressure, losses, and the rebuilding.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View kenn's profile

kenn

788 posts in 2371 days


#3 posted 09-09-2011 05:25 AM

LEW, i remember Agnes, was 11, 3’ water in the basement, Mom was minor hoarder with tons of stuff that lined the driveway. Son in law from C’burg and he’s going to find an add’l dehumdifier for me, that’ll help, of coerse his new home in Shipoke is flooding as we type. Actually nor losing any material items that have any value to me. pictures are all safe, memories intact, kids all safe, the rest is just junk that needed thrown out anyway.

Rustfever: at this piont, I just feel like it’s going to a lot of work that needs done. I will be replacing my sump pump every 5 years and will have the next one sitting on a shelf. I’m just hoping the “kids” can come out of their situation with a good attitude. It’s tought o lose your home before you even start your life together.

Thanks for the good wishes and prayers. I’ll post as time and energy and need to vent allow.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View mmh's profile

mmh

3420 posts in 2373 days


#4 posted 09-09-2011 06:12 AM

I’m sorry to hear about all of the damages and inconveniences, but be glad that no one is harmed during this disaster. Sending thoughts of dry weather and being able to salvage everything without much mishap.

We are also getting our share of rain in Maryland and some are underwater now. We can only hope it drains away and no trees fall over.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2644 posts in 2363 days


#5 posted 09-09-2011 07:24 AM

Ken,

I can really feel for you, but it sounds like you’re ahead of things for the most part. Twice we’ve had flooding (no where nears the magnitude of yours) and lost boxes of books because I wasn’t even aware of the basement flooding (in the process of moving from one house to another).

I just posted our latest weather incident. Scripture is certainly being fulfilled before our very eyes! We are thankful you all are physically unharmed, even though we can understand that everyone must be a bundle of nerves!

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View cathyb's profile

cathyb

757 posts in 1895 days


#6 posted 09-09-2011 09:48 AM

So sorry Ken. I was just in Pennsylvania two weeks ago and thought Irene was a real drag. My sister called me yesterday and her story sounds a lot like yours. She said the water was pouring into the basement from every direction and she was frantically looking for her boots to get down there and try to save as much as possible. Two weeks ago we were driving down Front Street in Harrisburg and now the flooding is up to 2nd Street. WOW!!!!!!! It’s almost unbelievable…...
I hope you can save as much as possible. For your daughter, come hell or high water she must really love that guy!!!!!!!!
Take care and be safe.

-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15772 posts in 1518 days


#7 posted 09-09-2011 01:17 PM

I’m sorry about all of your troubles. Life is always a challenge and there’s just no way to stop a river from flooding. Sooner or later they will flood. It sounds like you did most everything you could and it could have been worse. Anyways, I hope your insurance will kick in an pay for the damages and I’m glad it wasn’t any worse.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10804 posts in 1657 days


#8 posted 09-09-2011 03:01 PM

Kenn, i feel for you bro. Mother Nature can be a real pain to handle especially with so much going on around you. Hoping things dry out for you, your daughter, and new son in law. We just went through Irene here in CT, no power for 7 days, but also no damage thankfully. Make sure that if there is drywall in the basement the water didnt seep up into it and cause you a nasty mold problem. Cutting our the bottom 12” around the perimeter might not be a bad idea. As always if there is anythign we can do around here just ask.

Ohh and a big congrats to the about to be married.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View ramon's profile

ramon

153 posts in 1835 days


#9 posted 09-10-2011 10:12 AM

I’m sorry friend, you think you can beat-US-any situation, you have already demonstrated many times, I wish you would soon return to normal and your family, a greeting.

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