The Flood …….a river of water
The road was in good condition when I entered Orel. There was traffic coming from the other direction as I reached my house. I had to turn left from the road into our drive. I put on my turn signal and waited for the cars to pass. Looking up the road from the opposite direction in which I came I saw a river of water moving swiftly down the road towards me. Panicking, I turned the car into the drive and stopped at the side of the road. I jumped out and ran toward our gate. By this time the water was running down our drive and into our courtyard. I started shouting for my husband to come help. I ran to the Elfhouse and banged on the door. It was locked, our nephew, who had come for a visit, was still sleeping inside. The water was already around my ankles and starting to flow under the door of the Elfhouse. Finally my nephew, Marco, woke to find water covering the floor and me screaming orders outside. We had finish restoring the Elfhouse just one week before and now there was flood water pouring into our little house. There were still some scrap lumber and a pile of building sand at the corner of the building that remained from the reconstruction. I grabbed one of the boards and pushed it against the open door to serve as a dike. I then ran to the barn and picked up two shovels and hurried back to the sand pile. We started shoveling sand against the door. By this time my husband heard the racket and came out of the main house. I told him to go get some wooden blocks to put under the furniture. The wheelbarrow was in the barn, he filled it with wooden blocks that had been left over from the new roof and came running our way. I continued to shovel sand while Marco and Gianfranco passed the blocks through an open window and then placed them under the furniture. For the moment the dike at the door was holding, however the water continued to rise outside. I ran to the barn again. We had a pile of woven nylon bags that we had saved from our construction project. I gathered an arm load of the bags and ran back to the sand pile. The boys had finished lifting the furniture off the floor, I gave Marco the shovel and held the bags open for Marco and Gianfranco to fill them. Gianfranco then took the bags, as they were filled and placed them against the dike. Water was slowly seeping in under the dike. We put another set of blocks under the furniture then continued filling bags. The water in the courtyard was midway to my knee and still rising. The water inside the Elfhouse was about four fingers deep and slowly rising. Marco started scooping the water off the floor with a bucket and throwing it out the window. At this point we remembered that we had two pumps in our fish pond. Gianfranco rushed out to the pond and pulled one of the pumps with two long plastic hoses out of the pond. It was exactly what we needed. I ran into the bathroom and plugged the pump into the socket above the sink. We placed the intake hose on the floor and output hose was hung out the window. It worked the pump shot the water out as fast as it was coming in. The water remained a few fingers deep on the floor and stopped rising. Outside though, the water was still rising. I stood for a second and looked around thinking how high could the water get. As I pondered the rain started again. The gates of the courtyard were shut, a bank of water was pushing against them, water was streaming in through the cracks between the wooden planks. The water was going to get a lot higher. We focus our attention on the main house door. By this time volunteers from neighboring villages started arriving with sand bags. They stack bags in front of our gate to slow the flow. They brought bags into the courtyard and piled them in front of the door of the house. They piled more bags in front of the Elfhouse. Thanks to their kind help we blocked the water from our living quarters. They moved on the help others as we started going into the other buildings around our property to rescue as much as we could from the flood water. The water continued to rise. Then the sewage lines began to overflow. The water pressure was greater above the lines than below them. The extra water entering the system on the streets flooded the system causing a reverse action. Suddenly a fountain of waste water poured up through our septic system in the court-yard. The toilet in the Elfhouse started overflowing. Dirty water pushed through the drain in the tub and flowed down the side. The situation had just got nasty……..