I am not sure how much rain we got in a 24 hour period but let’s just say it was a BUNCH. I am guessing between 5” and 10”. As I am sure you know by now I have been in the Philippines for over 7 years now and there have now been 3 floods in CDO. Unlike the first two floods I experienced this one was not too bad on us. The only damages this time were self-inflicted and a result of laziness and stupidity on my part.
The first problem resulted from not following advice of the subdivision neighbors when our wall was rebuilt from the previous flood here. They said I should raise the window height in the wall. I thought about it and almost did but then considered the small kids that come to the window. For the second time since December 2011 when we moved to this subdivision, the street on the public side of our wall filled with water.
I just measured and the window sill of the store is 32” above street level. Imagine a river 32” deep (34 inches while it was pouring in our window) and about 28’ wide on a small incline. The actual street is only about 20’ wide but there is about 3’ on my side street that is open and a fair size concrete ditch on the far side of the street. The water was MOVING. No one could have stood against the force of that water. After the water went down about 10” and stopped flowing so fast we started seeing people in the street again. When the water was still rising a guy on a motorcycle borrowed a rope from me and tied his bike to the steel bars on our store. During the worst of it he was standing on his motorcycle and there was only the mirrors showing.
If I had been thinking sooner I could have put a 2’X8” on the outside of our window and tied it to the bars. That would have stopped almost all the water from coming in. As it was about 2” of water the 7’ length of our window came pouring in. That dumped the water on the floor of our store but that is about 6” below the lever of our house floor so we got no water inside the house. That was just a stroke of luck though. If it had continued to rain as hard as it had, and IF the wall uphill of my wall had not had a 20’ long collapse, the water would have risen so much in the street I am sure our house would have been flooded. As it was after the water stopped coming through the window we had no damage but about ¼” of mud on the floor outside our house.
As it was, the subdivision behind ours flooded instead of part of mine. I am extremely lucky that my house is the highest point of the subdivision. We are about 5’-6’ higher than the low point at the other end of the street. At least one house on that end had about 4’ of water inside.
One of the other houses in our subdivision also had a wall breach that let water out into the lower subdivision behind us. The two broken walls prevented water from backing up and flooding us.
The next problem I had that was 100% my fault was that I have 2, count them 2 generators and neither one of them worked. One had a gasoline leak and the other needed a battery. The power went off at 4:23 PM. At least I am glad I tied the doors closed on the 3 refrigerators and one upright freezer that matter so no one could open them.
I sent Les this morning to get a battery. I put it in and the generator fired right up. Only problem is I had had the generator worked on ( by the hardware store I bought it) and apparently he did not put a hose clamp on the fuel line when he put it back together. As soon as the generator started, diesel starting pouring onto the floor.
Plan B. Even though I already had two, count them again, TWO generators, either one is big enough to do what I need done, I went to a DIFFERERNT hardware and bought ANOTHER generator. The new one is bigger than the others and will run everything at one time. Only problem is that it cost me $1490.
The first generator I bought was a new 6200 watt diesel. It cost about $1100. With the improved exchange rate it would only cost about $940. It went through the second flood (the first flood in this subdivision) and did not work all the time after that so I took it back where I bought it and asked them to fix it. It only took them 9 months to return it to me. And that was without a battery as well as the aforementioned problem.
The second generator I have was given to me by a now dead friend as partial repayment for money I had loaned him when his house burned to the ground. He was sick at the time but did not know he had cancer. Once he found out he knew he would not have time to repay me all he owed so asked me to take the generator as partial payment. It is gasoline and about 5000 watts. Gasoline here was much more expensive than diesel at the time so I did not really want it and also it did not run. I ended up getting it fixed at a cost of about $90. I used it quite a lot since my other one was in the shop. One day I started smelling gasoline and discovered that it had a leak. I do not know where but assume it is fuel line. That was about 10 days ago. Since they completed a new power plant near CDO last year we have not had any blackouts from lack of power so I did not think I would really need a generator again. Like I said, stupidity on my part.
What ended up the absolute worst mistake I made in all of it was my truck. Since our house is at the high end of the subdivision everyone here drives their cars up here and parks if they expect high water. My truck was blocked in but that did not matter because the water at the low end was about 5’ deep.
The kids were stranded at school because of the flood so Les went to get them. The vehicle she was riding in got stuck so she had to walk most of the way to school. It took her about 1 ½ hours to go the 1 mile distance. By the time she got there the water receded in our subdivision but I was still blocked in. Les started walking home but she was in knee deep water and mud and walking was hard. I looked out and saw that I could finally get my truck out so I went to the rescue. Turns out my truck will not ford as much water as I thought it might. It stalled out and will still not start the next day. It is now sitting in the Kia dealership where I bought it awaiting repair.
I do not know if it ingested water into the engine but if it did it might require a new engine. Oh well.
A side effect of the flood of water is the flood of toads. Even during dry weather we see toads hopping around our lot. After a rain we see them in our lot and in the streets. Right now I am sitting here looking at 4 adult toads hopping around in front of me and near my feet. Since we had no power I left the house door open yesterday and today and we had one toad hopping around in the house. I would guess we have 10-20 toads living in our walled lot most of the time and maybe 1000 in the subdivision that is only about 2 acres in size. Toads are one of the only indigenous animals that do not get eaten by Filipinos so they are not afraid of us. They are pretty tame.
Frogs live in our lot as well but in much lower numbers. I have not seen one yet today.
The most populous animal here other than insects are lizards. There are at least hundreds if not thousands of them living in our house but especially outside. I have no idea what all the toads and lizards eat. There are some mosquitos here, some house flies, some big cock roaches and a few other assorted bugs in low numbers but I would think there are enough to keep all the bug eaters here fed.
Our TV and internet went dead when the power went out of course and now that we have generator power we have TV but we still do not have a connection so I do not know when I can send this.
The power came back on this morning at 10:30. I looked at the hour meter of my new generator and it now has 18 ½ hours on it. It used roughly 8 gallons of diesel. I consider that VERY good considering that during most of that time it was probably running nearly flat out. I had 3 full size refrigerators, 3 full size freezers, two upright beverage coolers (with the glass front doors), a hot/cold water dispenser my electric fan, and about 150 watts worth of LED lights running. I do not know what the running load of all that is much less the surge factor if two or three would start at the same time.
We still did not have an internet connection so Les went to their office. They did something on the computer and we had a connection.
Oh and it also raining again. I checked the weather channel we have here and so far since midnight we have ½ inch of rain. I wish I could find out how much we got that caused the flood.
The lower half only street in our subdivision is mud covered with up to 6” of mud. I have not been out since yesterday and do not want to. It is a real slug trying to trudge through the heavy sticky mess.
Life is good again. lol