Lisa and I have been complaining since we bought our house that we have to pay for annual flood insurance. Our mortgage company requires it because we’re in a “flood plain”. That’s right, a flood plain. In Arizona. Where we get MAYBE a foot of rain a year. We’ve had some choice words to say about this mandate and have even contested it, especially when they made us increase it a month ago. However, this all changed this past Tuesday when our house ended up under water.
Every August, Phoenix goes through what the locals call “Monsoon Season”. Normally, this consists of big black clouds, huge dust storms, lightening, and the loudest thunder you’ve ever heard. However, rain is still rare…probably because it evaporates in the heat before it hits the ground. However, this season we’ve had an exceptional amount of rain, causing rising water to hit our yard about a week and a half ago. While we found it unusual, we figured it was one of those rare things where you take pictures and never see it again.
Not the case. Tuesday evening, the storm clouds once again rolled in and began to dump torrents of rain on us. Lisa arrived home first, and called me saying “DREW! OUR HOUSE IS UNDER WATER!!” I immediately jumped illegally into the carpool lane and sped home to see every street around us under water. As I pulled up to the house, I had to stop my car about 4 houses away the water was so deep. I rolled my pants up and began wading to Lisa.
I could not believe what I saw. Our house was, in fact, completely surrounded by about 2 feet of water with a canoe paddling past it. However, there were only a few inches inside the house so we made the decision to keep the doors shut and come back when the water was low enough to get into the house.
Waves hitting our garage
Planter by the front door
When we finally got into the house after the water dropped a foot or so. In the house, there was about an inch of water left in some places and a few tiles were finally showing some dryness. The cat was hiding up on Justin’s bed and all the carpet was sopping wet. Needless to say, there was dirt and debris EVERYWHERE. There was still about a foot of water in the garage, thoroughly destroying anything within 2 feet of the ground. All we could do was walk around with our jaws open and think about the mess we had to clean up the next day.
Back hall by the bedrooms
Our poor living room. At least the TV was safe!
Upon returning the next day we got to work cleaning out. Our FLOOD INSURANCE, which we had consistently complained about for almost a year, gave us the name of a restoration company who got right to work. Seeing as we had JUST gutted and remodeled the entire house, it was a bit sickening to watch them rip up our brand new carpet, tear out the bottom of our cabinets, and drill holes every foot in all the walls. Our front door is warped, garage entry door won’t close, and pocket doors are all stuck open. Our backyard and pool were still a mess!
The newly landscaped backyard
The pool…which we had just FINALLY gotten clean
Being the hardest hit house, were interviewed by 3 news crews and 1 newspaper reporter. We appeared as a highlight story during 5 different news broadcasts and were featured in the Arizona Republic. News 12 even broadcast live from our driveway! (Watch the broadcast online HERE)
As it currently stands, we have about 16 fans and 2 huge de-humidifiers blowing in our house, our furniture is up on Styrofoam risers, the pool is drained, and we’ve already taken one very large load to the dump. However, despite the huge hassle this all creates, none of us was hurt and all we lost was “stuff”. We are so thankful to all who have offered help and are excited to see what becomes of our re-remodeling!