Wednesday, July 20, 2011


We went out last night to get out of the house for a bit after a rainy day inside. As we scurried to get out the door, diapers were changed, clothes were changed, and I started a load of laundry.

Two and a half hours later we walked into the sound of running water and a total flood in our house.Water was everywhere--at least an inch thick, all through the entryway, kitchen, dining room, nursery, and laundry room. Gulp. The laundry room. Water was pouring through the top of the washing machine tub. It never stopped filling and had been filling for two and a half hours! 

Oh! I can't believe I left out the fun part! The washing machine was full of dirty cloth diapers! So, the entire downstairs of our house was flooded with poopy and pee water!


It was already past bedtime and the kids were all crying before we even got in the house. Mark took the kids while I developed a game plan. I grabbed our humble little Shop-Vac and got to work, filling it every 30 seconds. Over and over and over again I stayed in the same spot and the water kept coming,

Mark put a movie on for the kids and started carrying all the furniture outside. It's Minnesota, mind you, and at night if you open a door for even a second, there will be mosquitos, and here we were with the door wide open emptying out the house. There were bugs everywhere. 

We've been married for six years now, and because of the conservative use of our bath towels,  we don't have any of what I would call "icky old towels." When we had our homebirth I had to ask around, and my dear mother gave me a humongous stack of icky old towels. I had since packaged them up for safe keeping in the garage, but they came out again last night. With water pouring into the floor vents (is that dangerous?) we created a barricade with towels. Mark and I went back and forth between ringing out the towels and managing the shop-vac. Mark took a break to put the big boys to bed, I took a break to nurse and change the baby.

After a few hours we were finally done. Bug-bitten, dirty, sweaty, wet with wrinkling feet, the floor was as dry as it could have gotten. We threw the towels in a heap on the floor to deal with later and fell on the couch.

I thanked Mark for getting the kids taken care of, and checked on them for the night. They were sleeping soundly...with snowman fleeced July.

:-) .


Sarah said...

This is awful! I had this same thing happen a few years ago. I was home and caught it after a while b/c I thought it odd that I kept hearing running water. Needless to say, I was in complete tears, husband was out of town, and I had no one to call but a local Knight of Columbus. Embarrassing. Upsetting. Irritating. Disgusting. I hope you are feeling better this morning. Hang in there.

Mallory said...

Thanks, Sarah! We're operable today since the floors are dry, but we still have a lot of wet towels competing for the washing machine.

I am now working on getting the water out of the vents, and there is A LOT of it. Our wet-vac is 5 gallons, and we've done dozens of fills on the vents alone. Phew! The nice but really gross thing is that when I'm emptying the vac it is FULL of spiders (hundreds and hundreds...). I didn't know so many bugs could live in a house unnoticed. We flooded them out, I guess, but GROSS!!!!!!!!!

Abby said...

We had a similar incident a few months ago with our washer that emptys into the utility tub. Utility tub was plugged.. water was EVERYWHERE. It was RAINING in our lower level with water pouring out of the light fixtures, etc. We were packing to leave town for a week at the time. During clean-up we had a tornado warning. More went wrong that I won't go into, but let me just tell you we are still missing part of the ceiling in our lower level (John tore it out so it would dry between the levels), so I totally feel your pain, honey! (again, does misery love company? Well, you are not alone, anyway.) Sounds like you and Mark dealt with it really well.. it's always a huge comfort when we as spouses can just high-five each other for dealing well with a crisis rather than trying to point fingers or be frustrated with each other. So.. thank the Good Lord for shop-vacs, old towels, and exceptional husbands! Sending you love.. and dry thoughts! <3

Anne R. said...

We had a similar, albeit smaller scale incident. Not to much fun.

BTW - lately,when our boys have been dressing themselves for bed, they almost ALWAYS go for the Carter's fleecy footie jams. Does that mean I have the AC cranked too high!?

Yea for Shop-Vacs!

Anonymous said...

This happened to me when I was there after Michael was born - remember? - but this time was definitely worse. I'm glad you got it cleaned up and I'm betting you won't be leaving the house again with the wash machine running!

Mallory said...

From the sounds of it, I'm starting to think that this scenario is sort of a right of passage ;-)

Erin said...

Maybe it could be considered a right of passage. It happens all the time. I know this from my previous life in insurance. The horror stories I heard were enough to make me quite the paranoid lady about all water related fixtures in our home! Dishwashers, washing machines and toilets, oh my! Imagine your last potty break before leaving home for a vacation. Guess what happens if that toilet doesn't stop filling for ten days! I drive my family crazy. I have made us late waiting on a load of clothes and have all of them trained to listen for the toilet to stop filling.

My obsessiveness didn't stop my front loader from leaking soapy water onto the floor and into the girls' bathroom though. I caught it quickly, but it was still a mess, so I can't even imagine what you were dealing with. Word to the wise: if your power goes out during the night and your washer stops, don't assume it's okay to just add more soap and start the cycle over in the morning, they get testy over that sort of thing apparently...

Mallory said...

Erin, it's funny, because I was thinking of including you in this post! I was going to write something along the lines of "So, one summer I lived with an insurance agent, and part of the 'house rules' were that to leave the house the coffee maker needed to be unplugged, the dishwasher had to be off, no washer or dryer could be on, because of the possible disasters that could occur.

Oh how I wish I would have followed your rules in my own house!!! To think that I've started a load while leaving the house for the WEEKEND! I shudder to think!~

Anonymous said...

mallory.. you have NO IDEA how much your post blessed me tonight.i had a rough after noon tonight...and it was b/c i was napping, ben slipped out (we are at camp and using a camp fun house) and gemma decided to pull on the tab of those 2 gallon waters that you can stick in your fridge, pull the tab, and then push back in once you are done..gemma did it for herself but didn't push it back in..she woke me up telling me there was a mess..ben had already left the the 2 gallons had emptied into the drawers and the cabinets beneath it and i just started crying...anyway, won't go on anymore b/c the Lord showed me (so sorry that you had to go through this) that mine was such a simple thing compared to yours...i can't fully explain how my heart went from crazy woman to woman who went to mass and the lord truly changed my heart tonight..but to come home and read this just really confirmed that 2 gallons is nothing compared ot what you went thanks for putting my afternoon into perspective!! much love!! maria

Lorrene said...

Oh yuck, what a mess that must have been! Sounds like nearly everyone has "been there", not that it is any really consolation to you to know you are not the only one it happens to. We just had a main floor toilet flood and I discovered it by hearing the water dripping out of a basement light fixture! These are the hazards of homeownership I suppose.

Detta said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS! I am so sorry. I can only relate in very small ways to this incident so I can't even imagine! Sending prayers your way that it all will all resolve VERY quickly.