My basement was dry Sunday night at around 8 p.m. But the next morning – after an evening of heavy rain, courtesy of the Hurricane – it wasn’t.
Three or four inches of standing water – my own private fish pond or a place to sail my battleship models indoors.
Yes, government incompetence – neglect – is why my basement is full of agua. The walls don’t leak. The floor, either. But water came in from the drains in the floor, which are there to take water out of the basement and carry it to the outside. The pipes run from my house to the front yard, where they empty into the culvert by the road – which is supposed to carry the water away.
Except the state – which taxes me to pay for such things – hasn’t maintained the culvert and drainage is nonexistent. When it rains really hard, a small lake forms by the road at the edge of my property. This time – historic rainfall – the lake rose high enough for the accumulated water to backflow into the drain pipe from my basement, conduiting thousands of gallons into my house.
Once the rains stopped and the lake level outside lowered and the drain pipe was exposed, the drains in my house were able to expel the standing water. But not the water-logged carpet in the bedroom or the in the drywall. Nor the water that is now soaked into all the framing/studs.
So I spent most of yesterday pulling carpet and drywall – in a couple of hours, deconstructing all the construction I’d done, to the tune of about $3,500 in “parts and labor.” Not counting mold abatement – which I’ll deal with today using Clorox and a high capacity sprayer.
So I called the local government bureaucracy which is the recipient of the funds mulcted from me to pay for the maintenance to the roads, which was not done and so caused this mess. It took multiple attempts to “file a report” about the problematic culvert and we’ll see whether they actually spend some of my ex-money to come out and fix it, so this does not happen again.
But the bigger issue is the $3,500-plus in damages done. I filed a claim – an arduous process involving no contact with any actual human representative of the government and a spavined hunchback of a web site that repeatedly lost my tediously filled-out information. I filed out the same online form three times before it finally took.
A very nice woman at VDOT helped me deal with this, so kudos to her.
But I’d rather they just fix the damned the culvert – me having already paid for it many times over – and pay me for the damages done by their failure to not fix it already.
. . .
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