Wet-vac to the rescue

Part 2b of the 2010 flood set:   16-March

Taking care of some friends' cats while they were away took an interesting turn as the 8 or 9 inches of rain had also brought quite a bit of water into their basement.

The previous day there had been just a small trickle starting to come in -- not much to be done about it at the time. But when I arrived today, it had built to something over an inch of standing water on the floor. I picked up a few portable items and let them drain out before placing them higher up...

The level was just up to the bottom of the freezer cabinets, but fortunately I had anticipated all this and moved the *power strips* off the floor the previous day so the main chest freezer was still running. Unlike falling rainwater, seepage like this picks up all kinds of fun minerals and ions along the way and is much more conductive.

With no sump well, a pump wouldn't have done particularly well here anyway as water pickup would have been difficult. But a wet vac can gobble up quite a bit of water in a short time. I soon got into a fairly efficient workflow of operations: put the vac motor and hose back on the canister, suck up water until the outlet began spitting spray, haul the canister upstairs and dump into the toilet. I could do it all right from sitting at the bottom of the stairs, as just to the right there is one of the lower spots of the whole floor and the water obligingly ran back toward me from everywhere else to collect there.

While the 4 gallons or so that the vac holds seems like a lot, the volume of just an inch of water across the footprint of a house is substantially more, and it took many such trips to finally bring the level down. But it didn't actually take that long.

I got it down to a skin of water left and went after some of the larger remaining puddles, and some higher parts were already starting to dry. As far as I could tell the water was no longer coming in, so hopefully this is enough until the owners return home to finish mopping up.

_H*   100316