Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wind storm

Last Thursday we were hit with a major storm. Lots o' rain during the day (1 inch in a 1 hour period prior to the rain storm, with 16 inches of rain the month prior--talk about water logged ground) and strong winds (50-70mph). 1st issue we had to deal with at home, was flooding in our basement. In November we had a few instances of a bit of water on the crawl-space side of our basement. We had been informed this happens after heavy rains before moving in and had installed a french drain along the north side of our deck/house. Frustrating we were still getting water even with the french drain, but with a vacant house on the uphill side of us and the fact we live on a hill, I think we'll just have to deal with some water issues. Anywho, the early afternoon of the 14th, we come home and find more than just a bit of water in our basement. An inch or so at the deepest point and spreading slowly towards our garage. Good thing we didn't have too much important crap on the floor. We keep an eye on it, but we seem to be getting more water and notice water spurting out of this crack in the wall! Darren takes a peek into the crawlspace and notices A LOT of water. Basically it's just seeping out of the ground. Time to get a wet/dry vac. Hit Lowe's to grab one of the last ones on the shelves--also pick up some quick-dry cement to try and patch up the crack. Unfortunately we hit Micky D's on the way home for a quick bite to eat--that combined with stress, does not treat my belly well. Which means Darren is the one sucking up water from the crawlspace and dumping the full loads into the street. Back and forth he goes. I attmpt a patch job on the crack, but as I don't prep the crack as suggested it doesn't seem to help. Once Darren gets the flooded basement under control, we chill out in front of the TV. It's probably 11 or midnight at this point. The wind has picked up and I think we start to watch a bit of news. Eventually the power goes. We stay up (can't sleep the storm is so loud) hanging out in our living room watching the trees across the street just getting whipped, branches being tossed around. At some point, Darren looks out our bedroom window and casually mentions something about the trees after he hears a thump. Oh, our neighbors trees are a lot closer than they should be, oh, there seems to be a tree on our house! Doesn't appear to be any obvious issues to our ceiling. A neighbor from across the way pops over to make sure we're okay (it's the neighbor everyone complains about who comes to check on us). We opt to sleep out in the living room, away from the trees. We probably make it to bed around 4AM. Unfortunately with the power out, Darren starts getting all these automatic phone calls from the freezers at his lab. Probably get 8 or so calls, starting around 6AM? Finally roll out of bed around 7 to check on our house/trees. Oh at some point, our security alarm starts beeping becuase of the power outage. We figure out in our sleep deprived state to turn it off, but unfortunately didn't turn it off completely. As I'm heading out of the house at 7, our securuity alarm starts blaring. Not a way to start the morning. Eventually turn that off and get out to check out the damage. The tree is on our house and has knocked the fence over. In our backyard there are 4 other trees just kinda hanging out as they're all part of 1 rootball. Decide around 8 or so it's time to go talk to the neighbors. They have just noticed the damage. They have a 5-6 foot root ball which was ripped up from the ground right in front of their backdoor. Too bad the cedar trees didn't have deeper roots. Get the name of their landlord (he lives right behind us), then get ready for work. I head over again to get more information and landlord has shown up, same with our kitty corner neighbor. Time to swap insurance and personal info. Their trees, both of us have damage. Should be fun.


It takes 2 weeks for the guys insurance company to finally tell him they won't cover tree removal. Our insurance company then comes out in just a few days for an estimate. As this was an 'act of god' our rates won't go up. Still have to deal with a deductible though. Just a little less than a month later (initial delay because of a snow/ice storm), the trees are off our house (required crane/cherry picker, small bulldozer, dump truck, huge shredder, and lots o' manpower). Amazingly there is little damage to the roof. Insurance company comes out again for an estimate on our roof--it's finally fixed about 4 months after the initial damage! Yehuda does a crap job fixing fence between our yards, but at least it's fixed.