Bailing Out the Basement

Our dog woke me up just before the water started coming in, and our household began bailing with buckets right away.  At first, we tried flushing water down the toilet, but we weren’t sure how long the sanitary sewers would behave.  After that, we just took buckets up to the garage and poured them out on the driveway.  Fortunately, the slope was enough that the water ran away from the house.

We bailed steadily for about four hours, and ran out of gas about the same time that the storm sewers started to work again.  Our neighbors on either side woke up to water in their basements up to the second step, so I guess the effort was worth it.

I called in to work and explained that I had to stay home that day to deal with everything.  The next morning, Friday, Sept 19, my measly 6-8 inches of water story was hardly worth telling.  One woman in our office brought pictures of her freezer floating past the basement steps in the five feet of water she got in Buena Vista Township. Then, another woman arrived with shots of her house, which was being built in Thomas Township.  Hydrostatic pressure had collapsed their basement wall and filled their basement, not just with water, but also with tons of mud!
William Wright  Planner with Saginaw county during the 1986 Flood

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