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10″ rain in 72 hours

March 15, 2010

The reason for my long ride down to Massachusetts was transportation.  Pete asked for assistance moving from Dover to Wellesley, and so I went.  From a biking perspective, the weather was just spiffy.  Then the rain began: persistent rain.  We watched a dry low spot in the neighbor’s yard turn into a lake 20′ x 50′.  Divided Route 9 was closed.  Other minor roads were closed.

Meantime we hooked up the U-Haul trailer and moved.

Various fire departments were out with their trucks pumping water from one end of the bathtub to the other.  Pete’s needs-to-be-replaced-sometime-this-year roof began to leak into the second floor.  And then the first floor.  Three pallets of sump pumps were sold out at Home Depot in 45 minutes.  No pumps were available anywhere in the greater Boston metro area.  Then there was 2″ of water in his basement.  His small condensate pump worked okay, but really wasn’t up to the task.  It was time for ghetto engineering!

Parts necessary to pump out your basement when you don’t have a pump
Arctic Sorels to keep the toesies comfy
Wet vac with a drain hole, but a cranky power switch, so we controlled it by plugging and yanking the cord (always brilliant when you’re standing in water)
Rope to keep the vac hose from crimping
Tape and plastic to keep water ejected from the wet vac from dousing a nearby outlet
Clothes washer to run on drain/spin to get the water into the sewer
Screwdriver to fake out the lid switch on the clothes washer you can run it open

Vac, drain into washer, Drain/spin…repeat…a lot.

Fortunately we had beer.

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