Friday, February 11, 2011

A House of Water

This past week could definitely pass for one of the most chaotic and unexpected weeks we have had the “privilege” to experience. What a week! Last week El Paso was hit by a very unusual winter storm. With that being said, it only snowed a couple inches and the snow wasn’t even that big of an issue. It was the freezing, record breaking, temperatures that we experienced! We hit below zero degrees a few times, which left us feeling like it was -10 to -17 degrees outside when you factor in the wind chill. Past that, we did not see temperatures above 15 degrees for a few days, which of course, left us feeling it as below zero still! I know that to some of you this may not seem like a big deal at all. But, you have to remember we are in El Paso people! El Paso is not equipped to handle this type of weather. We are supposed to have mild winters and hot summers. Mild winters do not at all equal freezing temps! It got so bad that the electrical company was unable to keep up with the demand of what the consumers were trying to use. Needless to say, the houses out here are not built for that type of drastic change in the temperature either; leaving it very hard to keep the houses warm. The heaters all over town stayed on continuously; even they were kept at 65 on the thermostat. So, with the demand for electricity being used nonstop, we all had to endure Rolling Blackouts. The electric company had different areas on the grid taking turns through the blackout. It left us without electricity anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. It was crazy! But, as I told Kevin, I would rather go that length of time without electricity over days without! Some areas of El Paso were out of Gas for a few days due to the demand of natural gas that was being used. All throughout El Paso, we thought that was the worst of it…. Of course that was said too soon! On Friday water lines started breaking in homes. Leaving a lot of people waking up to flooded houses. We left around lunch time that day to pick up groceries and whatever else we needed and come home to a few inches of water throughout the downstairs in our house. Yes, our water line in the backyard busted and our house had flooded. It made it up through about a quarter of our living room and out through the door and into our garage. In other words, the only safe area in our house was upstairs, the master bedroom and bathroom. The kids’ bedrooms, hallway, hall bathroom, kitchen and dining room were completely flooded. Of course Nic found excitement in his huge puddles of water that he splashed through. It is always great to hear his goofy laugh. We were without water for over 24 hours, which isn’t too bad compared to others. It was something we could work through. We managed to save all of our furniture and most everything else. Some books and small items like that were trashed. Breanna lost her phone charger from leaving it out on the floor. If that so far the worst of our personal damage, I will take it! As far as the house goes… we will know more next week on what is being done. The adjuster and General Contractor came out yesterday to access everything. Right now they are debating on ripping out the entire bathroom and how far up to go on the walls. Kevin and I did have to pull the carpet out of the house, which ended up being a good thing once we found puddles of water still under the mat. We vacuumed the carpet for hours nonstop and still could not get it all up. So, that too has to be replaced. We are hoping that the GC will have his guys out next week to start the repairs and what not.

Below you can get an idea of what we went through.... (Picture our house now a mess with no carpet... We are living on the concrete floor for the time. )

 This is where is all started...

 This is the area that water shot straight up a few feet and filled up the walls, leaving the house to be flooded when it seeped out everywhere.

 Now you see what popped and actually caused the flood.

 Living room view from Dining room

 Dining room walking into kitchen

 Just to show where the water was against the steps.

 Nic's room and the bathroom where hit the hardest.

 Nic's room

 Girls' room

 LR from DR

 Dining room

 Nic's room again


 This is from the following morning... The carpet of course was no longer flooded, but the wood still soaked up way too much water within a few hours.

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