Where's my ark?

By now I'm sure you've all heard about the flooding in Louisville.  If you haven't, you must be living under a rock.  Yesterday they got 6+ inches of rainfall in 90 minutes!  Wowza, that's a lot of rain!  We received part of that storm, but it wasn't nearly 6 inches of rain by the time it got to us.

We've always had a little water seepage in our (thankfully) unfinished basement.  It's never been bad in the sense that the floor is basically just damp in certain areas.  One corner over there and the, what I call, ash trap on the chimney.  Right after we moved in, we got several heavy downpours of rain.  We noticed that the floor was a little more wet than usual.  Then one day we got a really heavy amount of rain and nearly the entire basement floor was wet.  Not a measurable amount of water, mind you, just wet.  Yesterday afternoon during the brief storm, I ventured down to the basement to put some clothes in the dryer.  I noticed that there was an oddly shaped round circle of wetness suspiciously around the drain in the floor.  Hmmm, well that's interesting.  There wasn't any amount of wetness leading up to the that point.  Lightbulb moment!  The drain must be backing up!  This is a fairly older home.  I'm not even sure of when exactly it was built, but the basement drains and several of the downspouts from the house run down a drain pipe into our yard.  The bathroom and kitchen sinks, as well as the tub and toilet all drain to the septic so don't think gross things here.  As I was having my lightbulb moment about the drain, I remembered that earlier one of the gutters was overflowing.  This same gutter empties into the downspout that drains into the same pipe as the basement drain.  So you see it was all starting to make sense to me at this point.  If you recall, we've lived here before.  Left briefly for a stint in our native Logan County, then ran our tails back to where we felt "home".  After my husband came home from work and I was enlightening him to our basement situation, it dawned on both of us that the little white pipe you used to be able to see sticking out of the ground wasn't there anymore.  We both agreed that tomorrow (today) we would go out and find the drain pipe, as apparently the previous tenant removed the white portion and the grass had clogged up the opening, and unclog it.

We should have done it a little sooner.  We got a "second round" of storms last night that resulted in this...

Two and a half inches of water.  In our basement.  When I first discovered it, the water was still flowing rapidly up out of the drain.  These photos are after I freaked out and ran, like a dumb ass, into the water to start picking things up.  There was a fan sitting in the floor.  Running.  Thankfully the plug wasn't in the water, but upon turning around I realized that the also running dehumidifier (seen in the last photo with the green hose) plug was laying smack dab in the water plugged into the industrial extension cord.  I was so lucky to not have been fried as soon as my feet hit that water.  The water rose about another half and inch after this, but within an hour and a half it had all drained back out.
Luckily, most everything down there, with the exception of our bedroom (which we have NEVER seen any amount of water in), was either in a plastic bag or a plastic tub.  Since our washer and dryer are down stairs there were a few clothes laying down there, but I managed to get most of them in baskets and just out of reach of the deeper water.  
I went down this morning to survey the damage and start getting as many of those wet clothes washed as I could before they begin to mildew.  It wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be.  I plugged the dehumidifier back in and plugged in two box fans to help dry it up.  The biggest challenge will be getting the two area rugs out of our bedroom area.  They are still completely soaked.  I have already gone outside, found the end of the drain, and begun the process of digging, but the ground is just so wet that it's hard to shovel.  I'm hoping the sun will finally come out today and dry it up a bit.
Anybody else have a tale to tell of the great flood of Kentucky 2009???


  1. Wow...

    I had no idea! That was some serious flooding!! Should I send you my flippers and goggles?

    I am glad you didn't fry your bacon! That would have really stung...

    Hopefully, you guys won't have too much lasting damage!

    Will have to go look for pictures of Louisville now...

  2. No flooding, just a continual light show from about midnight on, windows shaking, that sort of thing. Promise me from now on, you won't rush into water to unplug things! Next time, think turning off the main, first. Those people clearly weren't thinking in cutting off the outside drainpipe like that. They probably were just too lazy to mow around it. Sorry, I shouldn't have said that "out loud".

    When we first moved here back in February, there was about two inches of water standing in our basement. Took about 3-4 days of running an industrial fan to dry it out.

  3. Okay, it didn't publish my comment at first, so I tried again, but with a shorter version, then it published both. Sorry 'bout that.

  4. Queen Bee - I fixed the comment thing! Yes, I agree turning off the main would have been a better option, but... the breaker box is in the basement.... :o)

  5. Back in '92, it rained and flooded like that in Lex. We lived at the bottom of two hills. Our entire basement flooded. Like 6 inches from coming in the house flooded. As it rained, my dad had me read Noah's Ark to my little brothers. Yeah, it just freaked them out more thinking that it was gonna flood the whole world. We lost so much. Antique furniture that didn't fit in the house, picture albums, old toys and clothes being saved for an elusive grandchild. We had to rent a dumpster and park it in our driveway, took about a week to clean it all out. Which was not awesome at all when you're 11 and the only one who can fit through the basement window to pull stuff out.