Water, water everywhere – Raven Oak

Water, water everywhere

Water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink…

I mean that literally because our kitchen is currently inaccessible. While I was away at Cascade Writers’ Workshop this past weekend, the condo unit above us had a hot water heater failure. Since no one was home all day, the water flooded 5 rooms of our condo–walls, ceilings, and hard wood floors. Most of what was damaged was photos, memorabilia from my teaching days, and files as the closet in my office took the hardest hit. The kitchen was the second hardest. Water dribbled from the light fixtures (eek!).

Large industrial fans drying everything off

This is our kitchen. Fans everywhere.

My insurance is pursuing the unit above us for all costs associated with the damage and sent out a team of emergency drying folks to try and salvage our condo. That means NINE industrial-sized drying fans plus two massive dehumidifiers. Those fans are HOT. They have to be to do their job.

When it rose to 90+ degrees in the condo, I called insurance in hopes they would put us in a hotel during this process, to which, they suggested I “turn on my A/C.”

I explained that we don’t have A/C, and insurance claims agent said, “Well, why not?”

I tried to explain that in Seattle, we’re rarely warm enough to need them and thus, no one really has A/C except for newer built homes. They were dumbfounded.

And no, they still wouldn’t put us in a hotel–something I will remember when we move in a few months and need new insurance for our next home.

Of course, Seattle is having the warmest year on record and is currently under a heat advisory. Luckily, we only have another day of fans until things should be dried out. Or so they said….

I’ve been juggling adjusters and driers and movers (giving moving quotes) and cats while fans render my home a shouting arena (the fans are VERY loud). The poor kitties are terrorized and refuse to leave the master bedroom–not that I blame them. This, of course, means we’re feeding them in the bedroom. And hosting their litter boxes in the bedroom.

Not the optimal solution, but we’ll live. They’ve decided that my dresser is the best hiding place in the world, as well as being a cooler place to rest during the heat. (We’re also giving them plenty of cool water and ice cubes.)

DiNozzo in his spot in the dresser

DiNozzo in his spot in the dresser

After the fans leave, contractors will come in and replace the damaged drywall and repaint if we’re lucky. If we’re unlucky, they’ll also have to replace the hard wood floors, which will get pricey pretty fast. I’m happy it’s not me footing this bill.

I’m loving the idea of tankless water heaters more and more.

This will probably delay our listing the condo for sale a bit (along with our move), but in the end, it could have been so much worse. We lost some computer parts, but nothing too crucial. Just parts we probably needed to ditch anyway.

I’m sad about the cards from my former students being water-logged, but these things happen. No books were damaged, my new laptop escaped damage, and our furniture survived.

Of course, I’ve felt bad for the moving companies coming over to give us quotes as our condo is a serious train-wreck. When we discovered the flood, my husband began tossing things out of the way of the water, so there are boxes and papers and such everywhere. I spent the past few days combing through wet boxes to see what could be saved. The fruits of my labor are strewn across the house as well. Toss in all the drying equipment and let’s just say even the cats would be irritated by the clutter.

Writing will be slow in the next coming weeks as I continue to deal with the flood, the move, and of course, WorldCon. I’m excited about some of the things coming up in the next year! As long as we remain flood-less, that is. 😉

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