Monday, September 12, 2011

Flooded out Christmas trees

Would you believe the water came even higher?
If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed a flood related post last weekend.  My little town got caught by "training" with TS Lee and Hurricane Katia off the coast several hundred miles.  What this training meant was a lot of rain, nearly 21", for the storm event.  What it meant for me was flooding that I've never seen at my home to the point where our sheds went under about 1 foot of water and they were up on blocks to begin with.  With the rapidly rising waters (not caused by the Potomac River flooding - this was all a case of too much rain on saturated ground with inadequate draining for such a massive amount of water), we quickly cut the power to our sheds because we knew we had items plugged in, like our chest freezer and perhaps a power tool or two.

Before dark, when it rose a lot more.  The water's already up to the door.

The water rose so fast and we weren't expecting it to go as high as it did since it had never done so before.  We kept our eye on the weather radar and kept watching the storm re-boot right on top of us for several hours. Every time we thought it would end, the radar showed it just start right up again. 

We and our neighbors rushed to save our vehicles.  My husband jacked his low little Versa up at least twice to get it out of danger.  Our neighbors jacked up their cars too and put them up on blocks to avoid the flooding. 

In the end as we sorted out the water logged items in the days after, we knew we were fairly lucky. We didn't lose precious items like pictures or baby items that could never be replaced, but we did lose all three of our Christmas trees.  Aside from smelling a bit, the electrical components got wet (pre-lit bulbs, power adapters, etc.) and it wasn't worth the fire risk to attempt to dry them out.  At first I was angry.  The kids each had a tree, a gift from their grandparents, and it's a family tradition that the kids get to set up their own tree in their own room with their very own ornaments.  Santa even leaves a present under their tree.  The sadness on their faces when I told them we would have to throw them away was painful.  Did they think that the loss of our trees meant Christmas wouldn't come?  

As I heaped them into the dumpster at one of our county trash collection sites, I felt a pang of sadness, but I knew that it would be OK.  We'll get the kids new trees and continue the tradition. We'll either buy a new artificial tree for our living room or opt to go large with a big, fat cut tree like we always said we'd do at least once.  We'll make this Christmas as shiny and new as Rudolph's red nose.  Others in our country are suffering flood losses far worse than losses than Christmas trees, a chest freezer, 2 lawnmowers, and various other items.  I think what made the loss of our trees so depressing to me was just fatigue.  In just a few short weeks, we had a good sized earthquake rock our world, Hurricane Irene come through with her winds, racking our nerves at the same time I received bad news about my mom, and now a once-in-500 years flooding event that has washed out roads and dams throughout my county, leaving us with more clean up work to do. 

So here's to sunny skies, terra firma, and no acts of Mother Nature for a long time to come!
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