Rainy days... Soaked apartment...

Posted by Dan on Aug 20, 2003 @ 1:57 PM

Ok, once again I've been pretty silent over the past week—its been a busy week! It all really started on Friday. Jenn's parent's were coming in to town to go to the Ohio State Fair. I got home from work and immediately started cleaning up the house and doing some yard work. I wanted to get the house somewhat respectable before her parent's got there. I didn't get everything done I wanted, but got enough done that I was satisfied. Part of the reason I stopped working is the temperature dropped like 15 degrees within a 30 minute time frame and these dark clouds starting rolling in. I could see lightning and hear thunder in the distance. It looked like the storm was heading our way, so I wanted to start putting stuff away before he got to the house. Well, the storm never ended up hitting the house, so I thought that was the last of it. Boy was I wrong!

Anyway, Jenn's parent's got to town around 9pm or so—maybe it was closer to 9:30pm. They got in a little later than planned because they had waited to eat at the restaurant outside the Mohican State Park they kept hearing about. While they said the food was ok, they said it wasn't worth the wait. We sat around until about 11:10pm or so and then they (with Jenn) headed over to her apartment to call it a night.

Right before they left, we had been watching the news and heard about all the flood damage in the 161/Minerva Lake area. I remember making an offhanded joke to Jenn about her apartment being flooded, but being as her apartment is not at the bottom of a hill, we didn't think much about it—so all joked about it.

Well, about 11:40pm I get a call from Jenn's cell phone. I could tell right away that she was upset. When they got to her apartment, a bunch of her neighbors were all standing outside. When they opened the door to the complex, they could see a foot or so of standing water in the hallway of the bottom floor. Jenn's didn't want to see the damage, but her parent's waded through the water and made their way into Jenn's apartment. From the water marks, they could tell that the apartment had received about 3 feet of standing water. By the time Jenn got to the apartment complex, they had already been pumping water out of the apartment for a couple of hours. Jenn's parent's said the place was a real wreck.

Needless to say, Jenn was also a wreck. They ended up heading back to my house to spend the night. I stayed up w/Jenn for a while trying to console her as best as I could. I didn't want her to get too down—after all we didn't really know what was lost and what wasn't. I don't think any of us really slept Friday night.

We got up early Friday morning and decided to get some breakfast in us. Since we knew that it would likely be a long day, we decided to go get the Cracker Barrel for a nice sit down breakfast. Jenn's parents drove to the apartment separately, because Jenn and I had some errands to run first. Jenn's dad had called the night before and asked her brother, Jason, to come down to help. Jason really had to go out of his way. Not only did he have to get up earlier (he works 3rd shift, so he normal sleeps until late morning or early afternoon) he also had to borrow a truck. Jason got to the apartment about the same time we did.

The first thing I did when I got there was to take pictures of all the damage. They hadn't really moved anything, the only exception being the chairs to the antique table which they had placed on top of the table the night before. I took pictures from all sorts of angles—I wanted to make sure we had visual proof of the damage for the insurance company.

Everyone worked really hard. We spent the day throwing away the stuff that was damaged, packing the stuff we thought could be recovered and moving the furniture that wasn't totaled. We inventoried everything we threw away. We wanted records of everything for the insurance company. Jenn's friend Jenny even stopped by for a few hours to help out and even took a car load of stuff back to my place. We ended up taking everything back to my garage, except for the frame for the futon couch—which was Jason's—and a couple of other pieces she knew were to go back home.

Jenn's apartment complex really sucks. The Red Cross was out there offering disaster relief— and they were extremely disappointed in the way the apartment management was handling the whole situation. They originally were not even going to offer housing to the tenants that had water damage. Other than pumping the water out, the complex did nothing to help people. They really should have had people there to help move people out. They also wanted everyone to "clean out their apartments ASAP, so we can start cleaning." I doubt the manager has every try to move a watersoaked king-sized mattress, but it's not going anywhere until it's dried out a bit. I'm certainly not carrying it up a flight of steps. So, Red Cross was wonderful (Jenn filed a 901 with them,) and the apartment complex can eat me—they suck and I won't recommend any stay there.

We unloaded the last truck load of stuff around 5:00pm or so on Saturday. We were all pretty beat and wanted to freshen up a bit and get a little rest. Jenn's parents insisted on staying at a hotel. I really didn't think it was necessary, but they wanted to make sure we had time to discuss what we were going to do with her stuff and that we'd both get a normal night's sleep. While they checked in to a hotel and got cleaned up, we rested a bit and then got cleaned up ourselves. We picked them up from their hotel room around 6:30pm and headed to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner. We were all pretty hungry and dinner was great. It was the first time I'd had ribs from Texas Roadhouse—they were some of the best ribs I've had in a long time. We sat around the restaurant taking our time with dinner—eating, relaxing and talking. After dinner, we dropped Jenn's parents off at the hotel again and headed back to my place. We stayed up for a bit, but went to sleep early; after all, we still had a ton of stuff to do.

Sunday morning Jenn's parents stopped off at the grocery and picked up some food and then came by the house. We had a little breakfast and then started on the cleanup. We got a ton of stuff done Saturday. We were able to go through most of the water damaged goods and get stuff cleaned up. We did a ton of laundry and went through all her photos and laid them out to dry. We also cleaned up the furniture and started laying stuff out that she wanted her parents to take home with them. Once again, her parents were fantastic and we got a ton of stuff done. Her parents stayed until about 6:00pm and then they decided they had to head back to Niles. I told them it was fine for them to stay over another night, but I think they were anxious to get home.

We spent Monday running errands and going through all her old papers, bills, tax forms, etc that was damaged. We also put away all the pictures that we had laid out to dry. Fortunately, many of the irreplaceable items, like pictures, we were able to recover. Some obviously have damage and most are curled, but we still have them. We also stopped by the insurance agency. Up to this point, the insurance agency was refusing to send out an adjuster. While her policy does list a ton of things that aren't covered with water damage, it doesn't really list her specific damage. It was a battle just to get the insurance company to send an adjuster out—one that I won—but I'm sure there are many more battles ahead of us. Insurances companies want to take your money, not give it back. At least her field agent was nice.

Tuesday we basically just relaxed. She still had homework to do, since she hadn't had time over the past 4 days to do it. We didn't do much with the stuff still in the garage—we both thought it would be good to have a day off from dealing with it. I think we both needed it.

So, that's been my last week in a nutshell. I'm pretty beat right now, but we've still got a good amount of work ahead. Fortunately, we're just taking it hour-by-hour, day-by-day and it's not quite so overwhelming.

Categories: Personal


  • I think saying that things were hectic would be a massive understatement. Dan was great. He is so supportive. I have finally returned to work after 2 days off and there is so much left to do. I have managed to take the electric out of my name, change my address at several places, and I am slowly getting through each day with the support of friends and family. i know that it could have been a lot worse than it was. Fortunately no one in the complex was injured and that was a relief. I guess there is a reason for everything. A friend of mine who emailed me that she was keeping me in her thoughts told me that God nevers gives us anything that we cannot handle. I remind myself of this every day and it helps to get through sometimes. I thank all who are helping and keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.

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