Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review - The Flood pt. 3: The Day is Done

The truck did not want to start again in the morning, and it took a lot of work to get it going long enough to get back across the street. In the daylight, the damage done was more clearly visible. Here's some shots of what was:

Just a shot to show you what washed into the apartment.

What was left of the lake in the backyard.

The carpet was like walking around on a soaking muddy sponge.

Our blankets and pillows washed down into the mess.

No power, so the kitchen was only illuminated by my camera light. This was lovely sliding around in the dark. The kitchen garbage actually ended up in the bathroom.

Mud settled on everything. CD player completely mud and water choked.

At this point all I could do was try to take it in. The sheer volume of trash that was once our possessions was incredible. I had no idea I had so much stuff, until it was spread around everywhere. I settled into sorting. I don't have any idea how many bags of garbage were accumulated over the next few days, but the place was full of them by the time we were done. The guy who came out and measured the flood line said it was at like two feet inside, which doesn't really make sense to me since it clearly soaked things that were up higher. But who knows, maybe it was sloshing around. Irrelevant really. It still managed to destroy just about everything.

In another apartment it actually moved the fridge from the kitchen, out through the passageway and into the living room. Water is not something to mess with. 

There was no disposing of the garbage for a couple days as the dumpster had been tipped over. And since the owner of the place was trying to kick everyone out in the first day, there was limited time to get things done. I hate doing it, but I had to leave the room full of trash. Don't feel too bad for the owner though. I've always considered him to be a bad person, but events like these tend to bring out either the best or worst in people.

The motel my brother worked at, used to be the kind of place where drug deals went down, and hookers stayed every night. My brother (and I when I worked there) worked hard to reform the place. It had since become a place, in the last few years, for those who had nowhere else to go. It was the cheapest rate in the area, and most of the people there were barely making it by. Families that had little to nothing, found refuge in the walls of those buildings. These people lost what little they had.

The owner very begrudgingly gave refunds. He did his best not to. He tried kicking people out before he legally could. When people were run off, several witnesses saw him going around, pocketing what others were forced to leave behind. As far as replacing the items, he didn't even have flood insurance. Yup.

At the end of the first day, we went over to a friend's house, where I prepared the world's best teriyaki turkey burgers. They seriously are the best too, everyone who's had them knows of the magic. Took me years to perfect. I won't publish the recipe online, but anyone who would like it... you know where my address is.

There's one more post with how things look now, but as far as it goes, the next couple days from there were spent trying to get the truck working and salvaging what little we could.

As I was leaving the first day though I snapped this shot really quickly. I needed to have something not depressing on my camera.

I think the one cloud looks like a free falling monk.

My brother woke me up the first morning after the flood and said, "I can see clearly now... the rain is gone."
He thinks he's funny. I had that dang song stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Tomorrow the conclusion, with Part 4.


  1. I just can't imagine what it must feel like to go through all that. I know I certainly have accumulated a lot of crap over the years, but a lot of it is the result of my bride and The Daughter. I really do try to purge my stuff...moving is always a good excuse to do this.
    They say that when you lose a lot of the material things you have, it gives you some freedom. I guess if I had my computer, TV, fridge, bed, and car...that is enough. Boy, am I spoiled.

  2. Wow, that is a free falling monk shaped cloud if I ever saw one, and I never did until now. TS, I'm so sorry. This is so depressing. But you and your brother with make it to brighter days with more cool clouds to look up to. Keeping you in my prayers.

  3. You guys were smart, and somehow knew what was coming, and how quickly. I always seem to underestimate water. But add mud to the mix, and its obvious destructive powers seem to double. I'm sorry you didn't have more time to save things. Those pictures must pain you to see, but I appreciate you posting them to update us.

  4. We live by a river that rises 15 feet or more during monsoon season and my dad always told me, "Never underestimate the power and danger of flooding waters." Looks like it did some serious too bad. Hope things go better for you.

  5. This has been my favorite of the series so far. That's a little weird, right? To have a favorite flood post. Loved the sky shot.

  6. TS you're killing me with your tales and images. My heart aches for you. I could honestly cry.

    I can't imagine what it's like to deal with the shock of losing your worldly possessions. I know you're not complaining and you're lucky to be alive and all of that, obviously, but still :(

    The fact that the landlord was so creepy makes it all the worse. It reminds me a bit of when I lived in Manhattan. We suffered the worst black out of my lifetime on the hottest day in August. There wasn't any food, stores were closed, etc. Jerky local vendors were selling pizzas for $40 and upping the price of whatever little they had left. It sickens me when people loot or take advantage of a crappy situation.

    Looking forward to Part 4.

  7. I'm so sorry... Obviously this is a very expensive and destructive mess. I can't imagine the mold that will set in.

    I hope you get some help to get back on your feet. In the meantime, I'm sure your friends in blogland (myself included) will be here for emotional support.

    The owner sounds like a pathetic excuse for a human being. I feel so bad for the former inhabitants of the motel. It's nice of you to feel for them and write about them, despite everything YOU are going through. You are clearly a selfless person.

  8. Oh my goodness! What a job clean-up is. We tend to forget and that is a shame.

    Love the last picture. Hope you have many, many more clear and beautiful skies!

  9. Have you thought of writing a book? You write so well. I imagined myself in the scenarios you depicted....and didn't like it very much. My heart goes out to you.

  10. Dude so sorry. I couldn't even imagine the pain and the frustration you must've gone through. Those pics really bring it to life. wonder why the media hasn't covered this. Not Katrina enough for the fat cats?

  11. Wow...
    I'm glad it's over, but sad that you lost so much of your stuff.

    Every once in a while, mother nature lets us know that in the overall scheme of things, we are of little consequence...

    You are right about the cloud.

  12. I see the cloud...glad the rain has stopped and you can move on to the next life's gotta be better1

  13. Geez.... I thought I was having a bad day when my washer overflowed and soaked my apartment....


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