the corona chronicles, day 22: first a pandemic, now flooding; what’s next?

As if the coronavirus pandemic weren’t bad enough, our pool was within one inch of overflowing today. I had to put my MacGyver skills to work, using zip ties to clamp two hoses together while wrangling the sump pump into the pool, getting drenched in the meantime.macgyver-richard-dean-anderson-photo.jpg.860x0_q70_crop-scale

We are having a wacky, heavy storm out of Alaska that is mixing with tropical moisture in the Pacific. This weeklong bout of rain is more typical of January or February during the heavy-rain seasons that come once every several years. With climate change, though, the rain and cold in the cooler months and the heat in summer have turned our typically pleasant weather to more resemble the Pacific Northwest in the winter and spring and Arizona in the summer. (Might I add that while Southern California has a flash flood warning in effect, Portland, Oregon, today is experiencing sunny skies and nearly 70 degrees?)

Since breakfast, just an hour before, I had watched the water travel up the sides of the pool to overtake the coping and come within an inch of the very edge. My husband was on an hour-long work-related phone call when I felt the dire need to start draining rainwater out of the pool. I could not call on him for help, and my sons were practically in comas from having gone to bed too late last night. So into the garage I went, trying to not only find the sump pump but also any hoses to complete the task. I couldn’t find the hoses (my husband has since told me the one he uses was hanging from the wall above the pump–but at five-foot-one in height, I couldn’t see it), so I unscrewed two I have in the backyard attached to the bib.

Hoses and I have never been friends. It’s impossible for me to get them screwed on tightly enough, and today’s attempt was no different. But I did the best I could. A set of Dollar Tree zip ties came in handy to secure the sump pump’s flexible hose to the end of another. When I had first attached them, the flexible hose filled with water and sprang loose in seconds, flailing around like one of those inflatable men attached to an air pump. Except this was happening with the force of water, which moves a lot faster than air . . . and is a lot wetter.

When my husband finished his call, he came outside to see what was up. By then, I was drenched from head to toe. The hair I had neatly blown dry, was now dripping wet and sporting a nice wave, I might add. My sweats were soaked through and I was peeling off socks that had become like a second skin. At one point, I had kicked off my fake UGGs for good (they were a pain to put on and off every time I came into or out of the house) and just went for it, sloshing through puddles and slogging through mud with just my stocking feet slipped inside a pair of old clogs.

My husband is still outside perfecting my work. When all is said and done, the story of the Flood During the Pandemic of 2020 will have turned from a “me” story to a “we” story. But that’s OK as long as the hoses are hooked up properly and the water is flowing out of the pool and down the driveway.

Still, what’s next in this saga? We’ve been enduring a pandemic, and we now have raging storms. Could a locust plague be far behind?locust

 

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