Monday, July 21, 2008

Down in the dumps

It's amazing what life throws at you from time to time. Alene, Caiden and I just took our last camping trip before the baby comes (and likely of the rest of the year because Football takes up pretty much from August to December) and we came home to an absolute disaster.

So, we left for Joes Valley on Saturday morning around 9:45am. We arrived back at home in SLC on Sunday around 5:30 and were greeted by our basement with this:






(Yes, that's a window well full of water)



I was stunned and I thought for sure this wasn't happening. You see, we've been VERY busy lately with the bedroom/closet remodel, birthing classes, family get-togethers and life in general. I had PROMISED Alene that once we did this last camping trip, all we had to do was just relax every night and get the baby's room ready. I really wanted so badly for Alene to be able to relax and have a stress-free birth (which is somewhat vital in doing a natural birth). So, yes, needless to say I was stunned and almost lost it. I could not believe what was ahead of us.

First of all, we had not finished un-packing, so all of our un-packed boxes were in the basement. In addition to this, we had purchased this new Ikea bookshelf that extended all the way to the floor. All the books on that level were destroyed, including my photo albums from when I was younger, my high school yearbooks, my coaching books and countless other things. Moving on, Alene's laptop was soaked in water AND all her papers from her school work, journals from her archaeology dig, my baby box, which included all my pictures from growing up, momentos, etc. all of it soaked and pretty much destroyed.

The good news is I have great family and great neighbors. I called my brother Russ and he and Billy (who was staying with us, but had to stay with Russ while we were gone), rushed over and helped us get a lot of the stuff out of the basement. The thing that was driving me nuts though was even though I'd bail the water out of the window well, I'd still get more water filling up. This told me for sure that it was a main water line break. I shut off the main water and it all stopped flowing in.

My next door neighbor (Allen) just recently retired from the Jordan water district and happened to have all the tools, parts, and know-how to get us fixed. Along with him were some great guys from our ward that dug down to the main (about 5' down), then they spent a good 4 hrs trying to get the threads lined up on the coupling part they put on. I felt so badly for them. Allen was sicker than a dog and bound and determined to get the pipe threads lined up. At one point he jumped out of the hole, ran home and puked. I told him he should stop now and I'd get someone out tomorrow. He insisted on one last shot at it and low and behold, he got it fixed. This was 11:30pm. I was so relieved I was going to be able to take a shower.

Neighbor fixing the water main break

Anyway, we also had the rest of the ward all over the place taking wet clothing and blankets over to their houses to wash and dry everything. I cannot express my thanks enough how great they were. If we had done this on our own, I would probably barely be getting that main line fixed as I type this. They were fantastic and I've never seen a ward respond so quickly to help (this, without me even asking for it). It was overwhelming at times because they were doing a lot of things we didn't want them to do, like lay out stuff to dry that we would have just junked anyway. But still, they wanted to help out and they were awesome. I still cannot believe how lucky we were to have them here helping out.



So, the damage is done. We had Utah Disaster Kleanup out that evening and for 5 hours they sucked up water and extracted the carpets along with tearing out the old padding. Those guys worked their tails off to get the job done too. Disaster Kleanup came out again today to remove the carpet (it's totaled) and they'll be out tomorrow to tear out 2' up from the bottom of the drywall. The insurance guy will be out on Wednesday to assess damage and cut us a check for all of it. I really hope it's an honest assessment.

This sucks but we're getting past it and just going to deal with it. I've got to try to look at the bright side and realize how lucky I was to have great neighbors. No way this would have happened at my old house.

Here is a video tour of the damage.


  1. Not to sound like I know what you are going through but it could have been worse. It could have been Katrina

  2. You are right about your neighbors, they are incredible. Oh and by the way, if you would have been warned about your water main breaking, I'm sure you would have done something about it, unlike thousands of people who ignored warnings about Katrina!

  3. How horrible! What a rotten thing to come home to! Your neighbors sound amazing! I love our church and how we are always there to help!! Try to have fun picking out new carpet and tile. Don't tell the insurance guy that you are so good at home improvements - you want to get paid for having to do it. :)