Wednesday, March 31, 2010

crisis management (m)

Record rainfall pelted Massachusetts yesterday.  Water levels in rivers and streams--already at peak from the storm two weeks ago-- have not even begun to crest from this latest rainfall.  The Governor has declared a state of emergency.  President Obama has declared it a federal disaster area.

My brother Phil was on high alert yesterday, watching his basement for signs of flooding. The basement had just been gutted, drained and sanitized after the last storm.  The new hot water heater is still sporting its tags from the store.  Everyone who knows my brother and his family called to offer help if a flood transpires.  We each had our assignments.  I was assigned to provide shelter and to take the dog (aka "the %$#@ cat").  I loaded up at PETCO and was braced.

Around 6 p.m., I get the call: "Please come and get Charlie....the water is coming in!"  I had just dropped H off at the skating rink.  I get to my brother's  home and the Fire Department is there, pumping them out.  Water is gushing out of a basement window whose glass was smashed in order to get the firehose through to the outside.

Cars of relatives are pulling up.  Bob and Marie brought an extra sump pump.  Someone else brought an extra long hose.  The phone in the house is ringing off the hook.  Neighbors call to me from their front door, asking how the situation looks and offer their help (although, I imagine they will get whacked at some point, too).

In the midst of this chaos, my cell phone rings.  Cousin Patty.  "I heard your brother is having another flood.  I made minestrone soup and banana bread."

Hey, we may be drowning in our basements, but with Patty in charge, we'll go down with our stomachs full.

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