It was Sunday, October 24th. It had been raining off and on all day and for most of the day before. It was about 10:30 PM and while Mom, Grandma and Grandpa had already gone to bed, my siblings and were in the basement watching Raising Arizona. A little while into the movie, I kept thinking I could hear dripping noises, but when I asked Shannon and Austin about it they said they couldn’t hear anything, so I didn’t check right away. A few minutes later I could swear the dripping was getting worse, so I followed the noise into our downstairs kitchen to check it out. The rain outside had mostly filled our windowsill (two or three feet deep, since we have a daylight basement) and water was streaming through the bottom and sides of the window pane. I sent Shannon for some towels, but they didn’t do much good. We would put them on the window sill to catch the water as it leaked through, and after just a few seconds the towels would be completely soaked; so heavy with water that they would just fall off the window sill.
By this time my mom heard the commotion and came into the kitchen with us and we all soon realized that not only were the towels insufficient for cleaning up the water that had already flooded into the kitchen, but they definitely weren’t helping slow the flow from the outside in. So my mom went to work sucking the kitchen dry with the Shop Vac and Shannon and Austin and I headed outside to try to empty out the window sill.
We went to work filling buckets and dumping them out – first onto the lawn and then, when the lawn started collecting giant puddles, into the street.
All that work made Shannon thirsty….
Soon the kitchen was all Shop Vac’d and Mom came outside and stuck the vacuum hose into the window well, and even with the vacuum running and the three of us kids continuing to work with the buckets, the rain was so torrential that it seemed we were hardly getting anywhere.
There were huge puddles developing on the lawn, the walkway, and in the garden, and we found a sinkhole in the flowerbed right in front of the window well, which may have contributed to the mass amounts of water leaking in.
Grandma and Grandpa got in on the action then as well. Grandma brought out more light and helped us to organize ourselves in all the chaos, and Grandpa redirected the drainage pipes from the roof so they were facing as far away from the window as possible.
While Mom and I kept working on emptying the window sill, Grandpa, Austin, and Shannon went into the backyard and filled the wheelbarrow with dirt to refill the sinkhole and try to prevent further water leakage.
After the window sill was almost completely dry and the sinkhole pretty well filled in, my mom and my grandpa used a tarp and a shovel and some big rocks to build a little tent over the window sill to keep as much of the continuing rain storm out as possible.
Despite the cold and the wet (so cold and so wet, in fact, that my mom and I had to go inside halfway through the project and change into dry clothes!) and the late hour, we managed to have a fair share of good old Burgess/Wright family fun!