2017-09-12 - Patch Tuesday

Patch Tuesday

Stalk The Comic:

September 12, 2017 - News Post

Apologies for the late in the day comic. Patch Tuesday struck again.

My wife’s laptop was kind enough to automatically update today. Like any good update, this one completely disabled Windows. Yay.

I love it when the tools we buy to enhance our lives decide, on their own, when and if they should be used.

If you’re in the Southeast US, I’m guessing you won’t read this for quite some time. Due to Hurricane Irma, nearly everyone I’ve heard from is without power at the moment. Thankfully, everyone remains unharmed.

On that note, here is the long-awaited ending to my rainy day story...

Part III of Jeff’s Weekend Tale:
(see part I and part II)

For hours, the skies dumped heavy rain, and that rain ran downhill. My house was downhill.

The water wasn’t everywhere, just on some lucky streets. We watched a car or two try to drive by, stop, and reverse away from our block. Some got stuck a few houses down, some didn’t bother trying. It became clear that we were well past the point of escape, so this seemed like the perfect time to attempt to move the car.

As I walked to the car, I watched as a couple people down the street waded out into thigh high water. There was no way I could drive in this. Still, the water level was rising, so the neighbors and I decided to move our cars up our driveways, and into some front yards.

I nudged the car forward as far as I could, and nervously stepped out into water that went over my toes. The water was rising. A quick check in the backyard showed that the creek was making waves not too far from the house. A few more minutes, and those waves would go rushing over the windows and into our basement.

I went inside, ran downstairs, and checked on our belongings. The water was clear and no deeper than when I last left it. It wasn’t even ankle deep.

I was inside for maybe 30 seconds. When I came out, the rain had lightened, and the water had dropped several inches. The water level was going down… rapidly.

Within minutes, the waist deep water dropped to knee height, then ankles. Someone pulled the drain (more accurately, the county opened some levies, allowing the creek to drain).

The neighbors went in their house to survey the damage. My wife and I stared in disbelief. Aside from some overloaded storm drains, all the water was gone.

A large number of cars, tow trucks, and tractor trailers began to descend onto our small residential street. We were one of the first areas around to drain all water, and everyone wanted to move their vehicles to a safer spot.

With the excitement over, my wife and I went inside, changed into dry clothes, and climbed into bed. It was now four in the morning, and we were wiped out. We closed our eyes in the humid, powerless, darkened house, and went to sleep.

Well, almost.

As we were drifting off, we started to hear thumping sounds from the basement.

You ever hear a noise in your house when you’re absolutely exhausted? Sometimes, you’re so tired, you don’t care if it’s a murderer breaking in. You’re too tired to check, so you simply lie in bed hoping that they get it over with quickly. This is how I felt at that point. Unfortunately, my wife insisted I go check.

Knowing the water that I had seen a little while ago, I assumed a loose bucket or something was floating around. The water was only four inches deep. How bad could it be? I shined the flashlight and discover a basement loaded with muckwater 18 inches deep. It was brown and it smelled. All, and I do mean all, of the boxes, furniture, and appliances were scattered and floating throughout the room.

The water soaked the bottom of our washer, dryer, and HVAC unit. I hear this is why people have sump pumps. We have one, of course, but it’s useless without power.

Being too tired to care, I turned from the sewage filled swimming pool that had been my basement and made my way upstairs. With my last remaining strength, I climbed into bed and passed out.

When I awoke two hours later, the power was back on.

The sump pump did its duty, and by 10am, the water had all been drained. My wife and I spend the rest of the weekend emptying and cleaning the sopping, worthless boxes of junk that had been our basement possessions.

Power came and went over the next few days, as did my enthusiasm for cleaning.

Through a magical combination of hairdryers, fans, and chance, the major appliances all still worked. Fans and dehumidifiers have been running 24/7, and it seems we got rid of most of the moisture before mold set in.

All in all, we were fairly lucky. We lost a bunch of stuff, but it was only stuff. Everyone was safe.

The next door neighbors had 5 feet of water, their appliances were floating. The lady across the street (who never did figure out what we asked her) lost a car in the flood. Neighbors all around have been pumping water out of their houses for days. At the same time, the houses behind us had zero flooding and never lost power for a second.

By Saturday, we were keenly aware that we fared better than some people, and worse than others. The flood brought us together as a community, and our neighborhood is talking to each other like never before.

These were the thoughts I had in my mind as I prepared a big bowl of cereal, and grabbed a gallon of milk from the fridge. In the middle of a long, stressful weekend, this was exactly the kind of thing I needed to feel normal again. I poured it out, scooped a heaping spoonful of cinnamon toast crunch, and filled my mouth with the most sour, rancid taste I can remember having.

It turns out, refrigerators require power to keep milk cool.

In the end, this was the single worst thing to happen to me all weekend. That gave me some much needed perspective on my life. I had an adventure, spent some time with my wife, cleaned out the basement, and I got to know the neighbors. I wouldn’t exactly want to experience this again, but in some ways, it was almost worth it.