Floody hell - and mine is only 4 inches

in #steempresslast year (edited)

We are currently experiencing our first ever house flood.

About 2.30am on Friday night I went to the kitchen and discovered that it was flooded and just starting to enter the living room.

First off I thought a pipe had burst or something was wrong with the washing machine (as has happened before) but after a quick survey of the situation and a peek in the dark outside the back of house I realised we were being flooded.

With very heavy continual rain for the past few days the massive amount of water pouring off the mountain side behind the house had just overwhelmed our protective drainage system and was then coming through our old farmhouse walls.

And it was rising fast.

I woke my wife and we kicked into action. By now most of the living room was already flooded and it was moving to the hallway. From there it was heading to the office.

The office is the centre of operations where all the computers were located and where I am writing this post.

We rushed to grab old towels and blankets and anything absorbent we could find to try to stem the flow from kitchen to living room.

We failed - it was rising too fast so we moved our efforts to barricading the door to the hallway. The dog's spare bed was even called into action.

We had more success there and managed to stop more ingress into the hallway and office.

The situation was just about under control. The flooding was contained in the kitchen and living room. My wife went back to bed. I stayed on watch until my wife came back on duty before 6am.

With daylight we were able to make a better assessment of the situation.

Being preppers, although flooding of the house was never on our risk radar, we were partially prepared.

We had an old submersible pump that was called into action to try to at least stabilise the still rising water level. The pump only had a capacity of 7000 litres per hour but it did seem to make some impact holding the kitchen to just around 4 inches.

We also had a builders dumpy bag of sand on hand, and a pile of hessian style sacks. Our youngest daughter joined in making sandbags. They reinforced much more effectively the barrier to the office in particular.

By now we were getting reports from friends of the situation around the area. The nearby town was more or less all flooded including the supermarket, many shops, the local college and many houses.

Indeed one friend's house was under 4 foot of water and the fire brigade was trying to pump him out. We were lucky with our meagre 4 inches.

This is all the fault of Callum - Storm Callum in fact...

Next we turned our attention to the back of the house. It was clear that we could not do anything about the existing drainage - it was just overwhelmed by the volume of water coming off the mountainside.

We started digging a secondary drainage ditch. My trusty mattock was definitely the tool for the job.

An hour or so later we had a working drainage ditch with a good flow of water away from the house. It still needs deepening further but it started to do its job.

With the extra drainage in place and the pump running full tilt, after a couple of hours the water level in the kitchen began to go down even though it was still raining heavily.

I stayed on duty through the night to monitor the pump. By the early hours of the morning - just over 24 hours after the flooding started the water was down to just over an inch and the submersible pump shut off. It had done it's job as best it could. It is now over to us to do some bailing...

The very annoying side effect of the flooding is that it got into the electrics of the fridge and central heating boiler. I am very much hoping that they will just come back on when the water has gone...

So this was, and still is, a real life prepping situation for a real life prepper.

We haven't done too badly. A bigger pump and having sandbags more immediately to hand could have been very useful. And a secondary drainage ditch looks like it will be a necessity.

But house flooding was never a risk on our preppers radar. Now it is.

Keep on prepping...


[ images by @pennsif ]


SO sorry this happened!
Sad but true, real life emergencies really can tell you how prepared you are for things.. as well as helping you to evaluate what changes need to be done.

Yes, this has been a good little prep training exercise...

Should only take a few days to fully recover if the boiler will come back on.

It will make us more aware of preparing well for bigger incidents that could be just around the corner.

Hope it's all good now buddy. We've been very lucky here. River didn't quite make it over the bank, so just standing rain water to deal with. Nothing made it in to the house, but I was out in my oil skins yesterday cleaning soakaways and drains.

Think the worst of storm callum is over. Hope the electrics still work once they dry out and no long term damage was done

Thanks @Welshstacker. We're down to about half an inch now. We're going to try the wet bit of our Wet and Dry vacuum cleaner now - never tried that facility on it before.

Glad you are all okay down your way.

Wow. I am so sorry the storm flooded you! It is a horrible experience. It only happened once to us while we lived in Canada. Who would expect the river to overflow it 25-foot banks? It did and we had four feet of water in our basement, ruining the furnace, water pump, hot water heater, deep freeze, washer and dryer in one fell swoop! Not to mention the mud left behind. From then on we did more prepping for flooding and I still do to this day.

Our little flood was a gentle reminder of the power of nature, that we will do well to respect and prepare for.

What a mess. Did you have any drywall or insulation below the high-water mark? It is almost impossible to dry that stuff out before the mold starts growing.

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Our house is 200 year old farmhouse so the walls are just stone and earth filling, about 3 feet thick.

Dampness is always a problem.

Eesh good luck buds. Get that whata out of there!

Which method did you find best for both internal and external water ingress limitation?
Hope things get better and go well!
I read that there was a months worth of rainfall in 24 hours! It'll probably take another 24 hours for the river levels to fall away too.

Digging the secondary drainage ditch certainly helped - although I couldn't go too deep as the oil line was underneath. I think I will make that permanent.

The submersible pump was useful although a more powerful one would be better. Maybe an investment for the future to share with neighbours who are in the same boat...

The wet and dry Karcher vacuum is now doing a very good getting the remaining water out. And it is cleaning the carpet at the same time !

It is good that you can see the bright side in this Lord Pennsif. At the very least the event was character building.

Though no doubt you would have missed Eugenie's wedding due to the clean-up. Such a shame.


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Compared with the hardships, and worse still loss of live, that others endure in similar natural disasters around the world our situation is a mere trivial blip.

And interestingly it has been a very good family bonding exercise as we have all had to work together to find the best solutions to the situation.

Alas I totally missed the royal wedding. But not having had a television now for 6 years some of those popular events pass me by...

I'm glad the worst is over for you Chris - that is horrible. It's never happened to me but I know how much damage water ingress can do.

On a lighter note. I hope you don't mind me saying I can see that the obsession of yellow and blue branding seems to have spread into towels and water pumps.

I think we got away lightly compared to other folk locally.

Yes I do seem to have some subconscious attraction to all things blue and yellow...

Great effort on holding it back. I hear its bad in wales all the very best to you 💯🐒

Thanks Vof100M. Hope you are keeping well, haven't seen you around for a while.

Thanks yes a lot on currently 💯🐒

Wow good job u were prepared! It sounds like the local fire brigade will have their hands full today! We havent had the flooding here in nottingham but the high winds have caused some damage. Mainly trees uprooting and chimneys coming off causing the damage. I hope u guys get dried out fast and stay warm. BB xx

The worse has now definitely passed. Just waiting to see if the boiler and fridge will come back on when we have finished pumping and drying...

I hope you don't get too much damage over your way.

That sounds pretty horrible. It's going to take a while to dry things out. Hope the damage is not too bad. It's raining here too, but I think our house is fairly safe from flooding.

Thanks Steve. I just spoke to my dad who is over your side of the country and heard the rain was hitting you now. I hope you don't get it so bad.

Oh no!! I'm so sorry you are going through this @pennsif. Flooding is a such a nightmare. :(

Thank you Lea. We got off quite lightly compared to many. Just about all sorted again now.

Wow, my friend,

So sorry to hear of your troubles, but it sure makes for a good story! :D



It was not so bad in the end. The carpets are drying, and hopefully won't need replacing. The rest are all being repaired.

Good to hear.

Steem (your carpets) on! ;)

:( I hope the damage is not to bad I am really sorry :( The hurricane here damaged my roof and I now have a water feature in my bedroom when it rains :( I know how much water in the house can suck :(

I think we got away lightly compared to many others. More a nuisance than a disaster.

Main problem is that it has knocked out the fridge and the boiler electrics - hopefully the repairs won't cost too much.

we live and learn. I just had some pretty heavy rain this morning and it really doesn't take long for things to flood if the volume of rain is high, earlier this year a few friends of mine got stuck on some land as the river washed away the track and they couldn't get their vehicles out in time. was like that for a few weeks. You seem to have managed really well, esp with the pump and sand bags, hope it all gets better from here on in for you and your family xxx

Many have had flooding way, way worse than us. Just took us by surprise as it had never been on our threat agenda before.

Getting sorted now ... and the carpet is coming up cleaner too !

wow 4 foot of water just sounds crazy 😦

but looks like you have things mostly under control. i hope the electrical wires aren't damaged.

Assuming the electrics work okay we should be fully recovered tin 2 or 3 days.