water around my feet in mom's basement

These are my feet, in my mom’s basement, on Saturday, Nov.3. If you look to the left of my left foot, you’ll see water coming up from the carpet padding, which I’ve pulled back. This is the back end of her basement, which apparently is the lowest point in the room, because it had the most water.

The water arrived Monday night or early Tuesday from Hurricane Sandy, which arrived on the Jersey Shore Monday, Oc. 29, and made life hell for everybody.

  • My mom lost power and her basement flooded for the second time in two years, despite a considerable amount invested in shoring up the basement, including a backup sump pump. Power came back Saturday, while Virginia and I were visiting and helping to do some cleanup. It was  a happy, happy moment.
  • We lost power as well, around 10 pm Monday. By Tuesday morning, we had 8-12 inches of water in the basement—again despite two sumps, each with a battery-powered backup unit. They lasted about 4 hours, but the power was out for 12 hours (which, all things considered, was a huge blessing. It’s wonderful to have an electric company exec or two living in your neighborhood). Thankfully, the water didn’t take out our freezer or heater/blower unit in the  basement, and our water heater, which had its pilot doused, started up again after some help from Tom O’Connor, the husband of Virginia’s boss Julie. I pulled up the carpet Thursday. It needed to go anyway, we’re telling ourselves.
  • My sister Sue was without power until Thursday. My mom slept over Sue’s Friday night.
  • My brother Chris and his family lost power till Sunday. They live the closest to the water, in the Atlantic Highlands, but have some elevation and are protected to an extent from winds by the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard. They are active in their church, which has members throughout the bayside and riverside communities along the northern end of the Jersey Shore, and many of those folks lost much of what they owned—home, clothes, vehicles, you name it—and Chris spent a couple days helping to pull every last bit of wallboard out of at least one home.

Anyway, Virginia made a lasagna and apple pie that we brought along when we visited and, once the power came on, everybody came over and we had a little celebration. With all the hardship and anxiety of the week, it was special to be together.

In other news:

  • Kelly has been suffering with the beginnings of a flare; he’s on steroids and we’re hoping to head it off before it turns into an event requiring a hospital stay
  • Pete lost his wallet at school. Thankfully, he doesn’t keep much in his wallet. Now, if he lost his iPhone …

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