Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Great Flood of '08

Living in a first floor apartment has many benefits. You don't have to haul your groceries up a dozen flights of stairs. You stay cooler in the summer. It generally costs less to move. But there is one great disadvantage. Anytime one of your upstairs neighbors has a water leak, you get flooded out. Yesterday, around 5 o'clock, my upstairs neighbor's water heater sprung a leak. This was the result.

It flooded the hallway, the linen closet, the bathroom, and the kitchen. The water also crept into the bedroom and the dining room. Every towel in the house was used to sop up the mess, and it still wasn't enough.
It started off just pouring down through the ceiling of the water heater/ac closet. I called maintenance, and 45 minutes later someone showed up. He went upstairs and got the water shut off, which stopped it, sort of. Then he used a shop vac to suck up some of the water, and told me someone else would be by in another 45 minutes to take up the carpet and padding, since they were both completely soaked.
I took the opportunity to grab some dinner, since it was now after 7pm. About five minutes after I finished eating there was a popping noise, and water was gushing out under the closet door again. I opened the door, expecting to see part of the ceiling collapsed or something, but a pipe had blown out, and steaming water was rushing everywhere. I called maintenance and the same guy came back again. Apparently, the upstairs water heater was at it again. This pipe was supposed to handle the condensation from the upstairs ac units. I'm guessing the temperature of the water (not to mention the quantity) was more than it could handle, and that's why it blew.
He put the pipe back together and went back upstairs to turn off the water again. It blew again. He came back and tried to put it together, this time with glue. It blew again. Then the second maintenance guy showed up to deal with the carpeting, and had a fit because there was still water gushing everywhere. (If you think this all sounds like "The Three Stooges Do Home Repair," you are correct.) He hauled in the super-duper water sucking hose and went to work. That's when we discovered that the kitchen pantry had flooded, too. Then the first guy came back and replaced the pipe that kept busting and left. The second guy yanked up about half my carpeting and removed all the carpet padding, which was completely sopping by this point. Then he said he'd be back in a few days to replace the padding and clean the carpet, and to try not to flood anything else. A comedian. Ha.
My apartment finally cleared of all carpet padding and maintenance guys around 9pm- four hours after the water first started coming through the ceiling. It was another two hours before I could coax the cat out from under the covers on the bed. He was, and still is, completely wigged out. He keeps doing this weird hyperventilating thing, and he hasn't eaten anything since it happened. He kept me up all night by walking across my pillow and stepping on my head, when he wasn't hiding under the covers with me. He won't settle anywhere, and keeps meowing and doing the butt-down slink all over the apartment, like he expects maintenance guys and evil super vacuum cleaners to pop up again at any moment. He's making me nuts.
And the apartment is a wreck, too.

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