Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spaghetti state of emergency...and anyone know how to bail out a basement?

Motto of my life: Things could always be worse. That definitely held true for Hurricane Irene.

We escaped Friday afternoon and headed to a friend's place upstate. Things weren't that bad here, though we were driving around today and there was major flooding and downed power lines (pictures coming soon).

Meanwhile, our street flooded. My neighbor peeked in a window and said there's about a foot of water in our basement. Also, no power. Also, no water. Good times!

But, everyone is safe. No major trees fell, and we have a whole lot of big old trees in our 'hood. And we should be able to get home tomorrow and retrieve Max's refrigerated medication.

Hope any of you who were in the obnoxious Irene's path are doing OK.

Not sure yet how we'll handle Max's spaghetti supply. Our grill has a little burner, that could work. You know I so have my priorities straight to worry about this.

Meanwhile, call in to fire department to see if they can help bail us out.

We've had minor floods before; the last time, Dave stayed up most of the night and with the help of some old towels and a wet vac, he kept most of the water at bay. My hero. But the wet vac's just not going to cut it this time around.

Any of you ever bail out a basement? And just how much fun was it, exactly?


  1. I have power if you need me to make Max spaghetti!

  2. I think there are a few hundred or thousand of us willing to make him his spaghetti. It's just a matter of how far are you willing to travel?

  3. I was thinking of you guys today! We've just had very strong winds today...crazy! I've bailed out a basement...just go for a sump pump. I told did it round the clock with a shop vac. NEVER AGAIN! Sump pumps are fabulous! Not that you could find one right now!

  4. To the water problem, sump-pump or small gas operated pump, hopefully from a friend, most suppliers will be out of them for a while.

    Glad to hear you made it though.

  5. Remember the nor'easter in 2007? Four inches of water in our basement (and our basement is enormous) when our sump pump failed. We had a new one installed by the first plumber who answered the phone. I had a few anxious moments when this storm hit, not knowing if the sump pump would hold up (not to mention the electricity).

    Once you get power and a working pump, the water clears out surprisingly fast.

    I'll be thinking of you .. it's no fun to be separated from your kid's medications.

  6. Glad to hear you're all ok. No wet basement here in San Diego. No wet anything! But plenty of spaghetti if you want to ignore the problem a little longer. Come on over.

  7. Good luck with it all...clean up and all....and the spaghetti. Poor kid, hope he can get his spaghetti. Do you have a Old Spaghetti Factory nearby? That place is yummy!

  8. Thanks for all the spaghetti offerings! We should be OK. Max might have to eat, gasp, ZITI or something. Horrors.

    We have a sump pump in the finished part of the basement. But, no electricity, and they're saying it might be up to a week till it's back. The unfinished part of the basement doesn't have a sump pump and that's the part with the serious flooding (I think, we haven't yet seen). Now that this is the third time we've had some flooding (tesyaa, we flooded during that 2007 Nor'easter too), you can be sure we're getting one there.

  9. Sorry to hear about the flooding. Call your local fire department. They should be able to pump it out.

  10. all this weekend i have been woried about u guys glad to hear that everyone's ok

    I hope max gets his dose of Spaghette soon

  11. I am glad you got through it…sad that it sounds like you may have a rough week ahead.

  12. I should have clarified ...I live on prospect st. :)

  13. Oh, you know where my mind is going, right?

    Be ware the mold that can now come.


    Love you, girl.

    Hugs to your babies.

    SOHAPPYTOSEEYOUATBLOGHER: a highlight for me!!!

  14. Do you have canned spaghetti (yoicks!) in the US and would Max eat them? Much faster to heat and can even be eaten cold ...
    Good luck

  15. Glad to hear you guys are safe =) We got caught up in the hurricane too. Hopefully you get power and water back soon and get the basement emptied!

  16. When Nashville flooded two years ago, we had 8 feet of water in our basement. My husband bought a sump pump from Home Depot. It took almost 48 hours to get the water out. Our water heater, HVAC and lots of stored items were toast. We had to hire a company to come in and clean out the basement - tear out any wood that would rot and treat for mold etc. We ended up getting $5000 from Fema but spent lost about $20,000 total.

  17. I lived in a house that had a sump pump that would do the job for us. If you don't have power, though, that's kind of a nonstarter. You have to get a pump to move massive gallons all at once (if your fire department isn't cooperative, you might be able to rent one at one of those Rent-All type places where you can get floor buffers and wet vacs and carpet cleaners and so forth, or maybe a hardware store--call around and ask) and you fire the thing up and stick one hose in the basement and the other on the lawn draining away from the house. Get the gasoline ones, unless you have a gas generator that you can plug into to make it all work.

    Or if you just don't want to deal and you have the money, you can hire one of those cleaning service companies (the "Like it never even happened" people) who do post-fire and post crime-scene cleanups; they also do water damage repairs. They aren't cheap by a long shot but they'll do the bleach and disinfecting so you don't have mold isses.

    OK, you are going to need to attach your sump pump to some kind of UPS (uninterrupted power source) for the future, as well. Once is enough with the flooded basement and you're obviously in an area where this can happen. Either some kind of battery opperated doo-dad that will give you a decent amount of service, or maybe (better option) a whole/partial house generator (an automatic one that you don't have to turn on, they cost a few thousand dollars for a partial house one, more for a full house--I would love one but out of my price range boo hoo). Since I never go anywhere, it's not so much an issue for me, but if you are away from your home when a storm hits it is nice that your emergency systems can kick in and prevent things like water damage plus make your place look lived in so you don't get robbed.

    I gotta agree with the UH OH Spaghetti-OHs suggestion. Yeah, canned spaghetti sucks, it's loaded with salt and sugar, but you can eat it out of the can and this is an EMERGENCY. A can of Boy ar Dee ain't gonna kill the child! You do what you have to do!!!

  18. I hope the spaghetti issue resolves itself.
    1) you can get a sump pump OR
    2) swimming pool pump

    With either one you would need to set up temporary power and I would say to get a generator if you can. We flooded the first time last year at our house and again this past spring after being here over 10 years. :(

    Our neighbors south of us flooded so much that they installed a natural gas powered generator. Cost about 3k or less but has been worth it.

  19. So sorry you had this happen. No hurricanes in the midwest, but we have had quite an EXTREME year, weather-wise and did lose the tree in our front yard. It was a more normal year when we had our big disaster. While we were putting on a 2nd floor addition some years ago, the contractor had our roof off when a "storm of the century" type storm came thru and wrecked our entire interior, followed by no power for 5 days. No fun. Never want that again.

  20. If no one has mentioned it yet, Wal Mart sell frozen spaghetti dinners for about a dollar that you can heat up in the micro, that is, if your friend has power. Canned spaghetti is remarkably like the regular kind. As for the basement, no sump pump might mean doing it the old fashioned way, with a big and little bucket and pour it out down the drain. Industrial Fans help to dry things out (from Home Depot or something)...also regular fans help too!

  21. Hi, Melanie! That is super-nice of you. We are fine. Max actually ate wagon wheels pasta yesterday. MIRACLE!

    We are doing fine with water—none is left. Now we're just dealing with water damage. Thanks, all, for the good advice. We are definitely due for a sump pump upgrade, to say the least.

  22. FIre dept may not only help you bail out your basement but also may help Max with his spaghetti mix. I know how to make spaghetti on a grill if you need (Knew all those years as a Girl Scout would come in handy). Perhaps a care package is necessary? Max the new dog can perhaps send up a purple care package. Good thing Staples has such awesome sales, if you let the store manager know of your situation they may be able to assist. My aunt & grandmother live in East Rutherford. FD & DPW are helping with pump outs of basements. Red Cross will help later filing claims for disaster assistance with the state & FEMA. Son would be thrilled to help out with spaghetti & sauce if need be :) Unfortunately the Passaic river is set to crest tonight again so East Rutherford, Rutherford, Wallington, Little Falls and a few other towns are set for worse floods than this weekend. :(


Thanks for sharing!

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