Two Strikes and We’re Out

On Wednesday July 9th, 2014 my apartment flooded. Now, if this sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering this post.

That’s right, this is the second major flood to hit us in this location. The Hubby and I live in a garden-level apartment, but the flooding has never been due to excessive rain, or to an upstairs neighbor forgetting to turn off a faucet. This is has been burst plumbing every single time. I say every single time because we’ve actually had plumbing issues which resulted in water being outside of the pipe in which it belonged four times. Twice the flooding was caught early (stains on the ceiling), and before theyt caused any damage. Another time the pipe burst we caught it as soon as it happened and we were able to get everything out before anything was irreparably damaged. The fourth time – this last time – the pipe burst sometime during the workday and I came home to water pouring from the ceiling and thousands of dollars of private property damage. Let me be clear – the thousands of dollars of damage happened to our stuff – I’m not including the landlord’s property.

Flooded carpet, soaked bed, shoes, a dog bed and a bunch of cords sitting in water.
The water had been streaming from the weakest point in the ceiling: the light fixture. The light fixture is located directly above our bed.

We did lose a lot of things in this most recent flood – our bed and mattress, some art prints and frames, our big, comfy CordaRoy bean bag, some shoes – but that’s all replaceable. The only thing that bums me out is that we lost our IKEA 5×5 Expedit shelving. We thought it would be easy to just order up a new base to replace the waterlogged particle board, but it turns out the Expedit was discontinued earlier this year. *sniff*

To paraphrase an infamous president: Flood me once, shame on — shame on you. Flood me — you can’t get flooded again.

Translation: We moved out.

Our landlord was very nice and professional about the whole thing. We’ve always enjoyed renting from him, but we just didn’t feel comfortable continuing in that space.

Our friends were amazing. I started putting out calls for help on Facebook almost immediately upon discovering the mess, and before I knew it six people had arrived to haul out wet furniture, clothes and books. One of our friends drove me to Home Depot to pick up moving boxes (I was not in a good mindset to drive), my in-laws came by to pick up the cat and dog, and then everyone started boxing up everything that wasn’t wet. We also had multiple offers of storage space, and several people sent information about properties that were available to rent. <Big heart swells>

We had everything out of harm’s way late on Wednesday night. On Thursday we rented a U-Haul truck and started moving things into that. More packing, more packing, more packing. Late on Thursday night we reviewed the properties that had been emailed, texted and DM’d to us by friends and we picked out four that might have worked. We sent inquiries by email that night. On Friday: More packing, place a claim on the renter’s insurance and follow-up phone calls to the rental properties. Two didn’t respond, the third was already taken and the fourth invited us to stop by to tour the property at 11am. By noon we had filled out the rental application and by 1pm we were back home to continue packing and loading the truck.

Because the application wouldn’t be processed until Monday we had to drop our stuff at a temporary storage space. That sucked. It would have been much less exhausting to unload the truck directly into the new apartment, but the U-Haul fees would have been extremely expensive to keep it that long. And if there had been any delays on the application we would have had to keep the truck out even longer. Plus, after having taken Thursday and Friday off to deal with the initial disaster, the Hubby and I had to get back to work; we couldn’t afford to take Monday off to unpack. So on Saturday we and a number of friends loaded and unloaded the truck – twice – into a friend’s garage. After that we cleaned the apartment as well as we thought was warranted; we spackled some holes in the unaffected walls, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen cabinets, oven and fridge. We left one final half-load of stuff in the truck and went back to Roseville (where we had been staying with family since Wednesday) at 2am. We woke up at 6:30am, came back to Minneapolis, brought the last truck load over to the garage, unloaded it and returned the truck to U-Haul at 10am – 30 minutes before it was due back.

And then there were massages. Seriously. We each booked 60 minute full-body massages and then went to lunch. Because that’s what needed to happen.

The next week was a blur. On Monday I spoke with the insurance adjustor. Later in the day we signed our new lease and picked up keys. On Tuesday we stocked the new place with the essentials. On Wednesday night we found our air mattress and began sleeping at the new place. We worked really hard at our jobs to catch up from the unexpected time off. We moved a few car loads from the temporary storage garage to the new place every night. We shopped for a new bed. We were both bone tired from the mental stress and the physical exertion.  And this past weekend we rented another U-Haul and moved everything that was left in the garage to the new space.

So tired. A deep weariness that feels like I suddenly gained 100 pounds across my entire body. But we’re in good spirits; nobody was hurt or got sick during the move, and there is a feeling of optimism and a confidence that moving out was the right thing to do. We already feel much lighter knowing that everything is now in the right location. And we’ve even started unpacking.

A coffee maker is on a counter. Boxes and newspapers are stacked in a small room. In the middle of the chaos is a shelving unit filled with neatly-arranged board games.

The Keurig and board games. Because you have to have priorities.

Two Strikes and We’re Out
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7 thoughts on “Two Strikes and We’re Out

  1. 2

    Oy. So glad you had help.

    (I have twice been on premise when a pipe burst, and managed to get it shut off. Once came home to a fire in the building and major smoke damage — throwing away books hurts.)

    Hmm. A better design ….

  2. 3

    I am fortunate indeed that all flooding at my many rental homes has occurred outdoors rather than in. Yikes.

    Friends and family who will drop everything to help when you need it are priceless. I am so glad you are outa there!

  3. 4

    Major bummer. I don’t blame you for moving.

    Ask the insurance company if they cover moving expenses. Some policies do. Also keep any moving related receipts for tax reasons. They might be deductible.

    Sounds like the landlord needs a professional plumber to troubleshoot the system. Old, very poorly installed, uninsulated, or excessive water pressure can all cause repeated failures. I did some work on a house where the homeowner did their own plumbing and used the wrong solvent cement to put the plumbing system together. Once they paid for the post-flood recoveries they could have paid for a professional to plumb the house several times over.

    I recently walked in the front door and heard the sound of running water. I must be living right because the pipe must have broken only a second or two before I walked in because there were only a very few gallons on the floor. It was also fortunate that the cut-off valve for that pipe run is just inches from where the break was so I didn’t have to find an appropriate tool and run outside to try to find the main cut-off.

  4. 5

    Nice board game collection! Looks like you and I have a bit of overlap, so I really must commend your good taste 😉 What’s the green box above Pandemic? That’s not Monsters Menace America that I see, is it?

    1. 5.1

      I think you’re referring to “Zombie Fried.” Horrid explanation of the rules in the rulesbook. Just horrid. I would not recommend this one at all. I keep meaning to get rid of it, but then I remember that I hate getting rid of games.

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