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.


Melissa said...

HOLY COW!!! What a horrid mess!! They are not expecting more of this, are they?

Summer the krazy cake lady said...

Seriously I'm SO SORRY! WOW I can not imagine.

The Clinkscales Family said...

I'm not sure what's going on with Hypoplastic Heart babies and floods right now. I was reading Owen Simmons blog and came across your blog. We live in Nashville, TN and have a 16 month old HRHS child. We lost our house and basically everything we owned due to the Nashville flooding a month ago. It was very strange to read your post. I know exactly what you are going through and it is not fun AT ALL! I don't blame you for starting on the clean-up. That is what we did and took pictures along the way. We were later told by FEMA and insurance that we did the right thing. Even though it's a very sad circumstance, I agree with you it could always be worse. I think our Hypoplastic babies have certainly taught us that. Take care and hang in there.

kimberlee shaffer said...

oh my GOODNESS!!! Lisa, I am SO SO SO sorry! that is crazy. I am sad for all the things you have lost. I am glad you are okay though.

Kyle and Alli said...

Your documentation is incredible. I can't even imagine the stress and fear and worries....especially with it being late at night and the incredible blessing that Jack was not downstairs asleep. I am so glad that you have a great cleanup crew that are in there so fast, but I can't even imagine trying to live and function in a disaster zone. I wish we lived closer so we could be over helping you haul things to the trash and make lists of what is lost for your insurance to replace. Maybe in the rebuilding you can make some fun improvements??! Your attitude is amazing.

acrspeech said...

Lis! I can't believe this. My Mom immediately called to tell me the news. I wish I was there to wade through it all with you! Good luck with all of the clean up....I hope your town home community has reached out to you! We are thinking of you all...and yes we too are so glad Jack was not playing downstairs.

Carter said...

smart to take pictures; I would never think of that, seriously. And of course everyone's safety is paramount, so glad everyone's all right (tetanus shot notwithstanding). Terrible about your mementos and stuff....but I guess as far as monetary value goes, the TV would've been tops, and you managed to get that out. Lame all around though. So sorry.

Thomas said...

Water go down the HOLE!!!

Wright Family said...

WOW! What a terrible disaster! I hope everything is moving along to get your home back to a normal state.