Soggy Blog

No doubt you’ve heard all about the flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It’s very sad, really. It’s one thing to see flooding somewhere and pity the poor people who’ve been impacted. It’s another to see it happen in your own backyard, in places that you relate to as “home” – streets where you’ve walked, stores you’ve been in, roads you’ve driven. I’ve not yet seen the flooding up close and personal. Carl has – he had to, driving up Interstate 380 to get to work. He called it “eerie” or “creepy” or something like that.

Here in Atkins, things are much better. We have 100% water capacity (Cedar Rapids has only 25%), we can get in and out of town (but not much further) and the citywide Garage Sales are tomorrow. (Wheee!) However, we did have a close call yesterday. At 6AM the power went out. A grain bin fell on some power lines and knocked out service until 9AM. During this period we recieved 3.5 inches of rain, and no electricity means no sump pump. And the durned pit filled up in a hurry. We tried to hook the pump up to a truck battery via a power converter, but the initial inrush overloaded our weenie little converter. Then we tried using the pressure washer to pump out the pit, but the incoming water has to be pressurized, so that didn’t work either. Last resort time. We bailed our sump pit for a couple of hours using only buckets. I would draw the water from the pit, fill buckets, and Carl and the girls would carry the buckets upstairs and into the garage. They dumped the water onto the driveway, and thus away from the house. Once the power came back on it took over 30 minutes for the sump pump to drain the pit and connected drain tiles. You can still hear water rushing at a pretty fast rate into the pit, but our good ol’ sump pump is keeping the basement dry.

Some of our neighbors were not so lucky. (Or, for that matter, so smart.) The family across the street had a flooded basement. We watched their teenage sons carry soaked carpet and trash out to their driveway. What gets me about this is that they had a generator going! Why they didn’t hook their pump up to it is a mystery. I’ve seen piles of carpet outside other houses, too. It’s really a mess.

Speaking of which, I’m attaching some pictures of the neighborhood after the rain let up. I’ll try to caption them as best I can. Here goes:

Our flooded garden.

Corn stalks in the street left there by water from the field (to the right). The water you see in the ditch at one point was nearly backed up to a house, but before it got to the house it over-ran the road.

Our rain gauge, the red float at 3 1/2″.

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