Rachel and I just wanted to give you a quick update on the flooding in Des Moines. Well to be brief, our house is surrounded by about 4 feet of water and both of our cars have floated away...
Just kidding. We're completely unaffected by the flooding. We have had a little bit more water in our basement, but it's nothing too really complain about. There are definitely people who are far worse off than we are.
It's actually been really interesting to see how the national news has covered the flooding. CNN.com had "Des Moines Being Evacuated" or something like that as the lead story. So far they've only issued a mandatory evacuation order for a small neighborhood and they had issued a voluntary evacuation for downtown. The downtown evacuation wasn't exactly urgent, as they issued it around noon and Wellmark decided to let us out at 4:30. I'm sure some of the stories have led people to think the whole city is in trouble, but really it's pretty isolated. There are certainly places that are devastated, like Cedar Rapids and parts of Iowa City.
So, Thursday night around 11:00pm it started pouring rain outside. Jamie and I were getting ready to go to bed and he asked me to go downstairs to check the basement and make sure there wasn't any water down there. As I descend the basement stairs, I hear a sound that reminds me of a small river flowing through the woods. But instead of being in the woods, it's in my basement. Water is currently flowing out of the southeast wall and headed towards the hot water heater, washer and dryer and other numerous things that are sitting on our basement floor. "Jamie! Jamie!" I yell but he doesn't hear me so I run upstairs and find him coming in from the outside. "We have a problem, there's water in the basement!" We go downstairs and get to work to try to stop the water.
Jamie had bought a Shop-vac when he put in the wood floors in the upstairs of our house. There was still some sawdust in there but we already had sucked up some of the water so it made a pastey sawdust mess when we tried dumping it out. Eventually, we got all of the sawdust out and got to work shop-vacing the basement floor. At one point I pulled out my beach chair and was sitting in that with my capris hiked up sucking up water. What a sight. Meanwhile, Jamie was trying to build a dam to try to encourage the water to go right instead of left towards the drain in the floor. He also emptied the water in my Shop-vac fairly frequently since it only held about 3 gallons of water. And then he started sweeping water towards the drain (that was after I fell on a bike and some bed frames and stubbed my toe and landed on my leg leaving me with giant bruise and after the Shop-vac hose hit Jamie in the face). At about 12:30am the drain decided it had enough and stopped up. So we plunged it and fixed it. Then about 1am Jamie went outside in the pouring rain to clean out the gutters to help prevent some of the water from falling and sitting near the house. At about 2am the rain finally slowed down and we gave up because we realized we could stay up all night Shop-vacing and sweeping water. So we showered and went to bed. The rain kicked our butts that night.