Saturday, 13 October 2012

Things to do when your home is flooded

Hi, guys, thanks for all your endearing comments of support during the week. We have eventually been able to read them after the water fried some of our computer equipment. We are back

Hearing of a disaster, no matter how big or how small, the first thing most people want to do is help.
Fire and  natural disasters happen, it's a fact. Fire is unforgiving, flooding although a disaster at the time, you can and do recoverable from it. It would be a good thought to say, it depends on the level of the water as to how fast you recover, but that isn't the case. Ten feet or ten inches, the damage flood water leaves behind is the same.

Soggibottom really has lived up to her name, before anyone suggests we change the name of our 17th century cottage, we wouldn't dream of doing so.
It's not the first time she has been flooded. Last Saturday morning was the second time since we have lived here. It was unexpected that it would happen again, there had been so many improvements, not to have the repeat performance we had in the Summer of 2005.

Devon has been hit with storms from Clovelly in the North of the county to Plymouth in the South and Soggibottom of cause last Saturday morning. Because of the immense rain fall over the whole year, another torrential storm was the last straw for our stream. This photo isn't part of the stream, it's a walk way to our garden.

As the days of recovery have gone by, we have had some very sad moments but some memorable ones too.

After a flood, water leaves a foul smelling air from water that has overflowed from drains and sewers, and not nice places. The water before it departs also makes sure it seeks every small crevice of your home and furniture. Things you never for one moment ever thought could float, do.
You find things bobbing gaily around. Before anyone asks, as in 2005, the first thing I rescued last Saturday at 4.20 a.m. was a dish of apples that had been in a higher place than the water had reached. What is it with me and apples ?

Your mind races as to what to grab next, knowing that it is too late to rescue much any way. Is the water still rising or is it going down ?
Luckily for us, it was going down. Our stream is tidal, our rain storm happened when it was high tide which didn't help matters. Streams and water outlets all back up at high tide.

Living in a cob cottage isn't so bad, warm in the winter and cool in the Summer. Soggibottom's walls act like a sponge and soak up water, they never built houses using cavity walls or thought of doing anything about damp in 1668. It will all dry out. It will need re plastering inside, but even after all the water the walls have soaked up, the walls aren't going to fall down.

One of the drying machines we have, to help dry the cottage out, as well as Frankie de tabby, who will happily sleep anywhere as long as all the noise of the day has died down. The machines are noisy. So noisy in fact that we have turned them off, we also think that the cottage needs to dry out naturally. At the moment there are lots of creaks and groans from the cottage, but that's fine, she's drying.

We even arranged for a road sweeper to come over this side of the bridge this week. Now that's a first and defiantly deserves a photo.
Most people hearing that you have been flooded really do want to help, but there is nothing they can really do. Your on your own. THAT'S A FACT !

Part of our bespoke kitchen. The water went up quite a way, enough to make all you see here condemned to the skip. For our lovable friends in other parts of the world, dumpster.

Good point, trying to rescue a bowl of eating apples is a waste of time. BE CALM.

When the water goes down, don't ever be fooled into thinking, certain things can be rescued. By then, you will know by the smell of everything that has been contaminated by brown water. Yep, that's my seat, the bit that dips. Well, it was....

When eventually the Calvary arrive, go out and leave them to it.
These are two lovely guys arranged by our insurance company... YEP.. I DID MENTION insurance.
Three guys, worked hard ripping up our contaminated floor BIG GULP... It never had a scratch on it before last Saturday morning. We look after things. I'm off track, GO OUT when this happens because it's heart braking.

When you eventually think it's safe to go back, your wrong, they haven't finished. Take a bit longer.
I did mention insurance.  There are so many that aren't insured.
Un-insurable if you live within a certain distance of a stream or river in England now, because of all the flooding in certain parts of the country.
There is a limit as to how many feet and inches. I THINK.

How lucky, we have been insured ever since we came to live in Devon.
Insurance Companies aren't quite like the T.V adverts try to make them out.
No way would I dare say on here who we are insured with.
The reason is very simple.
First of all, I used to recommend them to my friends. Never again.
We can't change our insurance company because we will never be insured by anyone else because of the stream. we pay a high price every year.
If you flood, you really are on your own, for days and days.

It's mostly up to you to make life bearable. Phone calls take time, it is a very frustrating process.

A huge big thank you to a fellow village dweller, who throw her arms around my neck. Just happened to be raining and we were both wet through. Thank you. Special lady. Just so happens that her dog is called Leya, a beautiful collie with odd colour eye's, a huge smile that makes me smile too every time I see her. The same age as Freya too.
Most of all, a big thank you to our neighbours, who are all very special people. Dog walkers who have offered help on their way to the park.
As for our kids...........

Our thoughtful endearing daughter. Thanks for sending a rescue parcel of goodies.
Thanks Mark for taking control of our fried computer. Becca your a little star for letting us borrow your lap top to get back on line.

Is there more... OH YES...

It will keep for another day. Freya is over at Cat Flap Cavalier.. She has had a replacement toy. A present from Mr Chops.

How lucky are we, we live in such a beautiful part of the country.
Move ?
We intend to try hard and keep a daily blog on here over the next three months. OR 12 months or so, it depends how quickly we can go out and enjoy such beautiful scenes like this without having to worry about rain. Are they rain clouds ? :-)
Where ever you are, keep safe and dry. We promise to keep photo's coming. Christmas has been cancelled here for a while, but even if we have to put the tree on the floor in the middle of the room.. Soggibottom will have a Christmas tree.
As Freya would say... LUVS :-)
:-) x x x  


WoolenSails said...

It is such a shame to have to go through that again, but glad you are starting to get back to normal. It is such a beautiful area and I love the photos of your area, well worth the hassle, once in awhile.


Sue Doran said...


♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

As we just said over at Catflap Cavalier, just so awful. Such a loss. Why does Mother Nature have to be so cruel? We are so very sorry for your loss and we hope life can get back to normal soon.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Allie said...

Oh Midge and mob - no words - just hugs -

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

Oh my gosh, this is terrible! You wouldn't think that the little creek would swell that much! I am so glad that you have insurance!!! What a mess you must have had, but I know she will be as good as new, (or should I say old?) before long. Good luck with the clean up and please do keep us updated.

Bear Hugs from across the pond!

Joanna said...

I don't know what to say. But I love that you have such a loving family and neighbors with big hearts, like yours. I think you are very blessed in that regard, even when life hits you hard. I think that since you live in a house from the seventeenth century you should be grandfathered into insurance coverage no matter where your house is located. Take care and I'm wishing you all good things.

SewCalGal said...

You have such an amazing attitude! I'll definitely try to use you as a role model when I deal with various disasters in life.

Hope the cleanup/repair work goes smoothly!


Janet said...

Hugs to you all my dears! So sad for you.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You do live in a wonderful setting. I so love looking at your photos. My Freya looks like she has grown.

I'm happy things are starting to get taken care of, but I know this has been hard on all of you.

God Bless you guys!

Caroline B said...

So glad you are well on the way to the start of a recovery. I cannot imagine what this must be like to go through - I'll never complain about the dog tramping in a bit of mud again! Let's hope this rain finally gives us all a rest and you can dry out and get back to some semblance of normality as quickly as possible.
The main thing to try and keep hold of is, it's only stuff, you and your family are safe. Easy for me to say!

Molly the Airedale said...

This is so sad but it didn't seem to dampen your spirits for long. Thank doG for that!

Susan said...

Midge, you remind me of that sign, Keep Calm and Carry On. I don't know if I would have handled things as you have. You amaze me! Bless you and your family! Prayers for a speedy recovery and sending you lots of love! Hugs!

Sue said...

We're so sorry that you had to go thru this again and after just doing your remodeling. I'm very glad you're all safe, that's the important part. The rest is just things.

Victoria said...

I haven't visited your blog in forever and I am SO sad to finally drop in and read this horrible news:( I am so sorry you're going through this! Glad you're doing okay though...I hope your little nest is back its beautiful self very soon!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

our hearts are with you

Houseelf said...

Hugs Midge and sympathies. I had to unblock a flooding drain here. I know just what smell you are talking about. Go out for long day trips and leave the biccys out for the builders. I swear some of them are related to humming bees and thrive on sugar. :-)

Chatty Crone said...

I am sooooooo sorry!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! How's the house today? I hope you had everything fixed by now. Heavy rains and floods are inevitable and they can really get to us, emotionally and literally. The best thing we can do is to stay prepared for anything especially if it is the prevalent weather in our location.

Tyrone Nold

Unknown said...

Thanks for these tips! Dealing with flood is a pain in the neck, and I know it needs lots of patience and effort before cleaning up the mess. It’s been a while now, and I hope you’ve been using these strategies to prevent the flood from entering your house. How are you?

Abel Holmes