Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stay Tuned.

There are so many pictures to go through from our trip- that it will most certainly take me a while to get them organized and posted. So in the meantime, here is a lovely collage of Josh and Jack during a very professional photoshoot at Serendipity in Vegas.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where have all the sheet rock gone..

This time last week our basement was a swamp. It smelled, had all sorts of toys, glass, and living creatures in it.

This is where we are now.

(the most interesting part about this picture, is how you can see through 3 townhomes. Our cats have expanded their territories..)

(Um, Elliptical for sale...)

So this morning Michael Waddoups, who is the owner of our property management company, informed us that the insurance policy only covers the costs of clean up. Meaning that carpet, paint, furniture, ALL losses- are not going to be replaced. This infuriated the residents and made us all wonder why the flood insurance was mandated upon everyone.

Marcus, from Crawford U.S. Property & Casualty came to assess our damage for the insurance. He basically looked at the walls, measured them, and told us to make a list of all our losses, value and age of them. He ALSO mentioned that he "wasn't sure what policy we had, so he couldn't tell us what was, or was not covered."

So we are all basically left with little hope. However, we finally got to throw everything that was saturated in river water that was smelling worse and worse everyday, into the dumpster. Josh and I filled the whole thing, alone.

Friday, June 11, 2010

For the record..

It was more than a month ago that I went to pick up those bins. But I appreciate the Tribune caring enough about our community to come check things out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"4827 got it the worst."

(click on photos to enlarge)

As you all know, we were attacked by the flooding going around northern Utah. On Sunday night around 10:10pm, Jack and I were getting ready to take Josh and his partner (who was running a little late) to the airport for a flight to New York. We noticed a cop in our backyard with a flashlight and went out on our deck to ask what was up. We saw that the Jasmine's parking lot was virtually a lake, and the cop said "We are having some water issues." I asked him if was bad, and he said ".....Yeah." He had a very unsettling look on his face as though he knew that something horrible was happening, happening FAST, and there was nothing anybody could do about it. He told us we should get anything important out of our basement, and just then, water came rushing under the fence toward our house.

Josh and I ran downstairs and pulled our plasma TV off the wall and carried it upstairs. When we got back down water was running down the walls from the window and the window well was filling up FAST. We carried more upstairs and before we could get back down we heard a CRASH. The window broke and water was GUSHING in our house at about the same force of the waterfall you see above.
We FRANTICALLY kept running downstairs to salvage things. The sectional couch came apart and each piece was floating around, bobbing in the ever-growing river pit in our basement. I cut my toe on the glass from the shattered window and they told me to stop going downstairs, and that I was going to need a tetanus shot. Josh's partner John gave up HIS flight to NY as well and ran downstairs to help Josh. They brought up shelves and as much as they could grab. We began to fear that water was going to reach the main level since it was climbing the stairs.

The water filled up just above 4.5 ft. It blocked the door to our storage area which kept us from getting anything in there. The water was murky, muddy and leafy. Everything was floating around, all of Jack's toys were swimming into places they've never been and clogging up any sort of drain.
Once the water stopped flowing through the window well, it slowly began to recede. But they were worried about how long it was sitting and handed Josh a sledge hammer to bash the toilet in to open up the drain for faster water drainage.
Everything floated except for the elliptical machine. The couches, Jack's playhouse, the shelving units lifted and turned over. All toys were buoyant. The line of debris on the wall shows the waters' maximum level, which turns out to be the most water out of all of the units affected.
Our "creek" that runs alongside our home is almost road level. The picture on the right with the ducks shows the river last year, and the bank that the ducks chill out on. Now, there are no banks, you could dip your toe in from street level. They are concerned it will happen again. What HAD happened, was the creek running along where Cottonwood Mall used to be what widened in anticipation for the new mall. in hopes to improve that area. But construction stopped. No one thought about how the river bank had been widened, and the bridge it goes under by Highland Dr. is quite narrow. That night after the snow had melted all day and the rains hit the canyons, the bridge became clogged with debris, and the water went up and over the road. It flooded Jiffy Lube, The Jasmine, then our homes.
We were evacuated and slept at my mom's. The next morning after they had pumped the water out, we found our basement in complete devastation. It was muddy, smelly, dank, covered in shattered glass, broken wall, saturated cardboard, and gazillions of toys. The couches acted as sponges and just absorbed the brown water. The carpet is down dark brown due to the inch of mud on it. Our walls burst due to the weight of the water and many holes popped through walls.
The window was double paned and caused LOTS of glass shard in the carpet. It was decided to be unsalvageable, along with the walls and doors. They finally turned off the power, making us consider that we had been running around in water that contained active plugs and power cords. But the circuit box was in the storage room, that was blocked during the flood.
Once we got into the storage room, we found it as though it were a sink hole. It was the dead end for the flood, so everything was pushed into a corner. It was all my holiday decorations and crafts, all Jack's baby clothes and baby toys. The crib, a computer, a laptop and the boxes of childhood memories I had just taken from my parents house.
The bathroom was full of mud since that was where the largest drain was created. Broken porcelain was everywhere, and the bathtub was clogged with river debris. We think they are both going to be ok- but obviously, we need a new toilet.
My stairs are a muddy mess due to us running up and down them from muddy river water, and many OTHER people running up and down to check it out.
Our backyard became a dumpster and our garage has become a landfill. I would say 75% of everything is destroyed. Most of it is in garbage bags and the rest is left out for the insurance people to come see, if they ever show up.

The disaster crew working on our house is AMAZING. Being that our house is in the worst condition, it is impressive that we are further along in repair than anyone else. Many neighbors are becoming furious with the lack of care and concern coming from our property management. They aren't taking any action to help us with insurance or ANYTHING. We've been told to leave everything AS IS so the insurance can look at it, but we have stinky, wet, dirt filled belongings growing mold and creating ecosystems in our houses. None of us can just sit around and not clean up. So I have obviously been taking a lot of photos.
The line across my torso is the line that was created on the bathroom mirror from how high the water got, giving you an image of how deep I'd be in river water if I were there a day and a half earlier. Our house was the lucky one to be chosen to have the dumpster on it. It is good, since we don't have to carry our stuff far, but then everyone else is dragging their garbage across our driveway.

I've been interviewed by Fox 13 and the Salt Lake Tribune came in to get our story and take some pictures. That will be in Wednesday's paper. Everyone is still in fear of it happening again, the river is still high and there is rain in the forecast. But at least the worst is over. Thank you everyone who helped us out with Jack, it was truly appreciated. Right now we are just in the process of going through everything we found, deciding what is salvageable and what is not. I do know for sure that all of THIS stuff is gone- and I had just transfered it from my parents to our house. My yearbooks, dance pictures, Kirsten Doll, childhood school projects and most everything from the 2000 back is water-logged. Oh well.

Hopefully we'll get help from the insurance and we can rebuild. I'm just glad that I wasn't taking Josh to the airport when it happened, and that Jack wasn't in the basement when the window broke.

It could ALWAYS be worse.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

With Great Respect on Memorial Day-

(written in great detail for posterity, so I can remember what a great trip this was..)

This time last year was a mess. So to be able to head down to St. George and romp around like a bunch of kids was SO much fun, and Jack loved every minute of it, and was very sad to leave "Curious George." We went with Jen, Key and Teagan, and Jen's brother Spencer and his girlfriends Hailey.

We left Friday and got there in time to relax and eat some food before the Midnight 5k that began at 11:00pm. Josh was the supporting husband who chose to run with me, just so I wasn't alone running out there in the dark. This was our route:

It was 3.1 miles in the nice cool air, but with a head wind on the incline. Josh and I finished at 31:18. Which was better than my race for the cure time, so I was proud. Everyone had glow sticks and flashing lights, it was really cool. Once we finished they had Gatorade and Pizza for everyone and we headed home to SLEEEEP.

Then it was time to chill out and relax- so we spent some time at the pool the next morning, after eating some delicious breakfast at the "Bear Paw" whose menu was EXCELLENT. Meanwhile, Jack and Teagan were having a blast together, making things much easier and more fun for all parents.

After the mega hot day at the mega cold pool, the kids took naps and Jen and I went on an excursion to find "Settler's of Catan" to play later. Little did we know Josh's hunger for it would grow so much as to call everyone he knew to play it when we got home. Jen and I also grabbed some bubble tea and some Jack in the Box Tacos for everyone.

It was around this time that the Wii playing become quite intense. We brought Super Mario Bros. Wii and it is proving to be quite addicting. I love it though. Really a fun game.

That night we ate at the Pizza Factory with the rest of the entire town, and had Frozen Custard after. It was a late night of Wii playin.

The next morning the whole family headed to Snow Canyon. Jack jumped out of the car and said "MOM! WE'RE IN RADIATOR SPRINGS!!" It was adorable... this is Radiator Springs:

We did the "hidden pinyon" trail, which was about a mile round trip. It was defnintely warm but not unbearable. Right of the bat Jack got bit by an ant that he tried to pick up and his finger started to bleed and sting. He was pretty hysterical, but more because his feelings were hurt. He couldn't understand why an ant would bite him for no reason. Once that saga passed we had a BLAST climbing around on rocks, finding caves, and exploring. It was really a great hike.

After the hike we went to this park right by our condo that was one of the craziest most dangerous parks I've ever seen. But the big kids had a BLAST. (As well as the little ones, just at a scarier expense..) Then it was nap time... or swimming time. The pool felt so nice cause the heat was getting intense. We decided to do homemade chicken tacos so we whipped up a meal and then Spencer and Hailey left. The rest of us played Settlers of Catan. It is quite involved- but we had our ice cream and magic shell- and we had a great time. I won, too.

The next morning we packed up and trekked home. GOOD TRIP. Thanks everyone who came, we all make excellent travel companions, let's do it again soon.