One of the joys of apartment living is that you are not solely responsible for your own well-being. So when your neighborhood is suffering from “rolling” (i.e. random, lengthy and sporadic) blackouts, and the outside temperatures are well below freezing (e.g. 21°F yesterday), you can take all proper precautions that you’re told to do — conserve energy and heat, keep taps running to prevent pipes from freezing, bursting and flooding, and so on — that does not mean that your upstairs neighbors who hail from, say, Hyderabad are going to follow the same instructions precautions because such weather conditions are unknown to them and…
Yes, Gentle Readers, a water pipe burst on the top floor of our block late yesterday, flooding (and I mean flooding) all the floors below — we, of course, being on the ground floor ergo getting all of it.
So we ended up with a foot of water in our apartment which came in through any of the various holes in our ceiling (e.g. smoke detectors, light fittings, air vents and, eventually, wall electrical sockets). To give you an idea of the carnage, we put a tall kitchen trash can under one of the leaks, and it filled to the brim in about four minutes.
The apartment management acted in typical molasses mode, managing to turn off the water supply some two hours after said flood was reported.
It looks as though all our stuff has been destroyed: furniture, beds, carpets, and even some of the artwork which was hanging from the (sodden) walls. A lot of clothing has gone bye-bye as well as things like towels which we initially deployed en masse to try to stem the water — all of course to no avail.
The guns are okay — they’re kept in a safe quite high off the floor — although I haven’t checked on their condition yet, the carpeted floor around the safe seems quite dry. Ditto the ammo, which is kept in another safe in the garage which was mercifully spared the carnage, I think.
Right now, New Wife and I are, like refugees from some natural disaster, huddled at the long-suffering Doc Russia’s place, two suitcases of clothing between us. Thank gawd for Scotch — although I note with alarm that his J&B supply is near extinction. (Just how much more distress must I undergo, I ask, with tears falling into my glass.)
In about six hours’ time I’ll head back to the apartment to see the full extent of the damage. I expect all sorts of fun like frozen water (temperature as I write this: 18°F, or -8°C to those of the other persuasion) both inside and around the apartment, assuming that is that I can actually get there as we’re also having a medium-heavy snowfall which will turn to ice immediately once it hits our (un-salted) north Texas roads.
No odds on being able to get into the garage either because the power is out, the oh-so-convenient electric door-opener being suddenly not-so-convenient.
And just to add to the joy, all the neighborhood hotels are closed because there’s no power. I managed to find an extended-stay hotel way the hell to the east from tomorrow night onward, for at least a week. This will not help New Wife get to her job, the only consolation being that her school is closed for the rest of the week — but next week she faces a 30-mile commute instead of her regular 5-mile trip. (Of course, what she’s going to wear is a matter of some interest; we did manage to save at least a couple of her outfits, but they’re going to have to relax the dress code quite substantially.)
Bloody hell, even our suitcases (which are kept in a storage locker off the patio) were ruined, so we arrived at Doc’s looking like Belgian refugees circa 1940 France. (No horse-drawn carts and no Messerschmitts strafing us, but the former was impossible as the horses would have frozen to death and the latter made unlikely because of the shitty weather.)
I’ll post pics from the disaster zone when I’m able to take some.
So it looks as though 2021 — for Your Humble Narrator, anyway — is going to vie with 2020 for the title of Shittiest Year In Memory. It was bad enough that we had no power and were cold in the apartment; we had made provisions (SHTF stuff) and were surviving. Then came Noah Time, and now all bets are off.
We have renter’s insurance, of course, but even the insurance guy was unreachable yesterday because he too lives in an area which has had no power for three days. So I’m in the dark as to what will happen next, financially speaking.
Aaaargh. As New Wife put it: “Come to sunny Texas, they said; it never gets below freezing, they said.”
When we get our lives back together again, we can address the Texas power generation topic, as outlined by Tech Support 2.0 below.