Flooding on the Homestead

The forecast predicted nonstop rain for two solid days and for once they were right. It rained steadily for two days. It was wet enough on day one but when i came home from work on day 2 i was greeted by a canal in front of my property. The water was draining alongside the edge of the road, running downhill to the intersection. My gate sat overtop the place where the river of water draining off my property met the canal of water headed for the intersection. I would have taken a picture if i wasn’t so busy trying to figure out where to park the car to step out and unlatch the gate. I would have left the car outside the gate and just walked to it the following morning but all my high spots on the side of the road were in the new canal of rushing water. I finally parked the car with the back tires still on the asphalt of the road and one of the front tires on a patch of grass, both of them in the water, left my shoes and jacket in the car, and got out to unlatch the gate. I pushed it open and climbed back in the car. I urged the car gently through the stream in the driveway and managed to get it up onto the mulch pile under the oak trees by the gate. I turned the car off and took a moment to survey the damage. The tool shed was sitting in a pond. The extension shed and the house were on cinder blocks so they were okay. The dog run was under water. Even the laundry area…oh ****…the septic tank drainage field was under water. Pretty much the whole property had standing water on it. I wondered if the fruit trees were overwhelmed. I waited until a lull in the pouring rain and then made my move for the front door in my socks with my pants rolled up, carrying all my items across the yard. I tried to step lightly through the water so my feet sat on top of the mud instead of sinking into it. When i made it to the porch i took off my socks and dumped all the stuff i had been carrying onto the kitchen floor. I was in.

I rinsed my socks out in the sink and hung them over the shower rod in the bathroom to dry. i was in but the dogs desperately needed to go out. They had waited faithfully for me all day and neither of them pottied in the house. I had to let them out. I opened the crate doors and led them outside. Cashew jumped into the water with a splash. She wore an expression of shock on her face. She had expected ground to be there when she landed and instead she found water. I stood in the puddle of water that had accumulated outside the dog run and unlatched the gate, “in, in…”. Both Sili and Cashew ran through the gate into the flooded dog run. There they did their business. I waited in the house for a few minutes but the rain was pouring down on the roof and when i couldn’t stand the thought of them drenched in a giant puddle out there any longer i flung the door open and went to retrieve them. They followed me through the ankle deep water to the house and hopped up on the porch steps. They were indeed drenched and so was i. I grabbed the dog brush and began combing the pieces of mulch and mud globs out of Cashew’s long fur. I brushed Sili too just so she wouldn’t feel excluded. I turned the heat up a couple degrees. The temperature was in the forties outside and i didn’t want the girls to be cold. The tiny house was ripe with the scent of wet dog.

At this point i had to use the restroom. I had held it in order to get home in time to let the dogs out but now i had to go out so to speak. I had momentarily forgotten about the drainage field being flooded. I was quickly reminded when i attempted to flush. At first the bowl would fill up and churn around but it wouldn’t go down at all. I was pretty sure it was a hopeless effort but i thought i’d try one more time. The back of the toilet was making a noise as if water was running but the toilet still would not flush. When i removed the lid to the back of the toilet it was not water that i saw but mud. I chewed the side of my lip, stating the obvious, “that’s not good.” I hadn’t the slightest clue what i was doing but i was pretty motivated to flush that toilet so i filled a cup with water and dumped it in. I did that until the toilet was full and it stopped running. Then i pushed the handle down and praise the lord it flushed. Muddy water rushed in to replace it. Also not good. I would have to wait for the rain to stop to see what state the system was in and what it needed at that point. Nobody was going to be able to do anything for me in the middle of the rain with the drainage field continuing to actively flood. I would try not to touch the toilet any more for the rest of the night and hope the rain would stop in the morning so i could get a sense of the damage. It was time for the back-up potty i kept in the corner beside the water heater. It was a tall orange home depot bucket with a lid and sawdust. Ta-da. Problem solved. Sort of.

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1 Comment

  1. been there……am there right now as a matter of fact. the ONE constant thing with a home is sewer problems..whether it is a rainy drainage field or a septic tank..heck even the public sewer system is a complete mess. Hang in there.

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