3:15 am the same corner I stood at 45 minutes ago, water, it was moving, I followed it.
Dave the plumber emerged from his place and I filled him in. Soon, his wife arrived and Pam, the owner of the daycare next door showed up. We're standing on the corner of our street, watching the water creep over the asphalt, bubbling out of manhole covers, splashing sounds as a result of hastily placed sandbags falling over, this was our signal, stuff just got real.
The next several hours were spent wandering around the couple square blocks near the shop. Went over to Central and water was over the road and a news babe from CNN or someplace was standing out in the water, filing her report as cameras filmed. I stood there with a couple of my customers and we wondered aloud if they realized the sewage treatment plants were shut down the night before. Those things floating out there weren't Baby Ruths. More coffee and back to the shop.
Wednesday 7:00 am:
I took the computers apart and put them in the truck. I kept the furnace blasting and had the only working toilet around so anyone needing warmth or to add to the floaters, could.
One of the colorful elderly characters in town had refused to leave earlier. When he realized his error in judgement, my neighbor Nick and his boss, Dave the plumber, grabbed a boat and rescued him. The auto shop at the end of the street had moved all their customer cars to higher ground the night before. He had three of his own remaining and waded out into chest deep water to rescue his lifted Chevys and a Jeep. We were entertained as that damned water kept rising. I kept a close eye on my warehouse as it filled and crept into my main shop.
Wednesday, New Year’s Eve 2:00 pm:
The Corps of Engineers reported the water had crested, which meant it was going to rise about 1 more foot, so far so good, dodged a bullet. The next order of business was finding a route home. One route would have been complicated by rising waters closer to the St. Louis. The other was an hour west and then switch highways and an hour back to the east. I left around 3:30 am and made it home close to 7:00 am, took a shower, ate and passed out.
Shop, around 10 am one more foot before it was done. That man door in the middle has a 12 inch step.
New Year’s Day 2016:
I walked into the shop and was greeted by the stench. Walked the grounds and found the water had receded from the building. Armed with gallons of bleach and a garden sprayer I started the disinfection of ‘Electric Eddie Land’. The day had me removing everything that could move from the warehouse and thoroughly washed, everything.
Friday January 2, 2016:
Same stuff, different day. Brian Fox of King Chassis fame stopped by and helped get the main shop back in order, mucho gracias my brother. And so it still goes almost a month later. We had some unexpected material losses, a little damage due to moving related issues. Fortunately, I was available to a few visitors while cleaning up who requested signs to aid in their efforts to recover. So I have been busy with that and still trying to unpack and find the little stuff and paperwork. My daughter, Megan, came by and helped get the office in order, my clean freak kid.
You field an innumerable number of questions in situations like this. Sit in a local diner and be introduced, “This is Eddie, his shop was flooded." Have to deal with sightseers who feel the need to take photos of your chaos. Watching your neighbors who were devastated, without flood insurance, decide if they can rebuild, is the hardest goddamned thing to witness in all this. Good people, who like me, put everything they have in their places. The only thing worse is losing a loved one. I was lucky, why? Who knows?
Causes of things like this are easily explained. Urban sprawl, levies built to protect areas that are natural flood run-off. The water has no place else to go. It's going to be a struggle for a little while. Certain costs associated with it all have added up. Putting a couple of the funny cars and some of the blue chip parts for sale is a backup measure. Applying for low or no interest loans to bridge the gap seems to be as much a job as the money making stuff. I'll survive; this is a walk in the park compared to some things.
So, the plan is next issue, back to normal. I have a lot of really bitchin stuff planned for you readers, a couple guys getting some well-deserved recognition and another excursion to the east. Once it's calm, Hippo is going to be asses and elbows. Gotta make CHRR.