Friday, 31 August 2007

It's raining again

I just could not resist using this song by Supertramp as the theme for my blog. Yes, it started raining some time on Tuesday and stopped during Wednesday night. The problem was it didn't just rain - it poured down. Even my cats did not venture further than a meter from our home and stayed on the porch in the dry areas. Things would not have been so bad if.... well it happened like this.

Part I
I was at work and phoned hubby in the morning to ask what to buy for the evening meal - a usual conversation. We of course spoke about the weather, especially as a couple of weeks ago we had a lot of rain and two of our neighbour's cellars had collected a few centimeters of water. During my telephone conversation hubby said someone is at the door and I should wait a few minutes. I heard him speaking in the distance on the phone and he came back to say the neighbour had just called to say water was slowly seeping into the cellars again. Hubby was not disturbed as the last time it did not get to our cellar, but said he would have a look.

Part II
About 4.00 in the afternoon hubby called me back at work with the development of the situation. He had just spent the last hour with two other retired neighbours (they were the only ones around) scooping up the water masses in the cellar with snow shovels and driving the water into the garage where there was at least a drain for it to pour away. During the day all the cellars and the corridor to the cellars had reached a level of 3 centimeters of water. So where was the water coming from. Not only do we have cellars and a car park on this first level underground, but there are 4 hobby rooms as well for people that like to have an extra room for their pasttimes. One of these rooms has a nice big window which looks out onto a wall of fancy stones - a sort of rockery with plants in between - quite pretty really. What happened was that the rain came down in torrents and the water got trapped between the rockery and the window. Hubby said it looked like some sort of giant aquarium, just the fish were missing really. Anyhow the water built up so much that it forced its way through the edge of the window and it started pouring in. Something like the waterfalls in Schaffhausen but on a smaller scale. The water then developed into a small river flooding out the hobby room and creeping under the door into the corridor and other cellars.

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Part III
The neighbour whose hobby room was flooding was luckily at home and had a pump. He then fitted up the pump and the pump started pumping the water direct from outside the window into a sink in his hobby room. The aquarium gradually disappeared and the water stopped flooding into the cellar, so for the meanwhile the flooding was reduced. There must have been hundreds of liters of water coming in - see photo of sink with water being pumped into it.

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Eventually I arrived home from work and as I had to cross through the cellar corridor from the garage to get to the stairway, I decided to have a look at the damage. The floors were damp, but gradually drying out. I peeked in our cellar and saw that everything had been moved to the back as it was the front two thirds of the cellar that were under water. Other people were not so fortunate, although there is a large heating room in the cellar where damp items could be stored in the meanwhile. Hubby came downstairs to meet me in the cellar, two other neighbours were already there and another two ladies came down to join us. It was quite a party, but no-one really felt like celebrating. In the meanwhile water started pouring out of the hobby room again. By this time we were joined in the cellar by two other neighbours who had just come home from work. Hubby had a look and noticed that the hose (see picture) was no longer pumping water into the sink but had made itself independent and was pumping water onto the ground. With some wire the hose was fixed into the sink and all was well again, well almost.

Part IV
So we all started wondering why this has happened the second time. Nearby two new blocks of appartments had been built - luxury class complete with cellars, garage and nice gardens and concrete paths. They had been putting the finishing touches to the road leading to the outside parking spaces. Unfortunately when building this small road, they forgot to allow for the rain to run away. Well, actually the rain did run away, down the nice stones to the window of the hobby room in our cellars. There were many discussions and meetings of building chiefs and managers of the bulding society of our flats, with the result that the road has to been pulled up and relaid with a nice draining system on one side, the water being directed into a container leading to a draining system. All's well that ends well, well almost. At the moment when you walk through our cellar corridor you can here the gentle summing of about 10 dehydrating machines.

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It has now stopped raining and the sun even came out today. The weather forecast predicted no rain at the week-end, so we all have time to clean out our cellars and throw the stuff away that got ruined by the water.

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