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Water, water everywhere

Our yard turned into lakefront property again tonight. We live in the Reed's Brook area of Arlington, which is notorious for its drainage problems (so why didn't our realtor hear about that, eh ?). Our neighbors told us this year has been the worst. In March, we watched helplessly as unusually heavy rains and melting snow overflowed the storm drains. We had no seepage in the basement, so instead the nearby brook overflowed, first onto the street, then our our driveway, and through the basement window. Luckily we had help from a neighbor -- I ran off the hardware store (having moved my car earlier) to get something to seal the window -- and found Lexel, a clear plastic watertight goop that sets in water. We ended up with about six inches of water in the basement, and I had to throw out a bunch of books and comics (including some old, rare Arcade's) and spent a week drying out CDs and booklets in binders. (These things were on the floor because we had just moved in and didn't have time to move everything out of there.) But most the people we talked to had three feet of water, so I guess we made out pretty well.


Anyway, tonight's thunderstorms looked pretty bad. The first wave of very heavy rain made water come up the driveway, somehow causing an oily smell in the air (probably illegally dumped during the dry spell), then it receded pretty quickly. I went outside and everything looked pretty normal. But while trying to get Sebastian ready for bed, I heard the rain, looked out the window, and noticed that most of front yard was under water. Sure enough, the water got up the basement window again -- but this time I had rubber gloves and two tubes of Lexel handy ! That slowed the leak down pretty well; then I found the glass outer part of the basement window screen and popped that in after bailing out the window well. Next time it's sandbags, or maybe a higher well guard. When I stepped to the end of the driveway, the water was up to my calves (probably about 10" or so).


Then I sloshed over to where some of my neighbors were commiserating, talking about the town's plans for fixing one of the big storm drains around here, although just removing the debris from the drains that work would really help. For example, I learned that our dear town of Arlington bought itself its only catch basin cleaner two weeks ago and had just started using it. It was actually kind of pleasant standing around the rain (gentle and warm by this time) with some in common to talk about. (Certainly better than when it's March !)


Conclusions:


  • It's probably going to happen again.
  • Buy more Lexel.
  • If it's not too bad, it does have some value as an exercise in building neighborhood solidarity.

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rpkrajewski
Daddy-O à Go-Go

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