We returned to the house today to survey the damage and were there all day. We'll be here in the hotel for at least another few days. As I mentioned before we didn't get water in the house, so most of our furniture and the computers, etc are OK (unlike our neighbors). But we had 4 feet of rank sewer water sitting in our yards, and in our storage basements, and in our car. The reason they want us out for the next few days while they cleanup is that the mud is toxic with microbes, bacteria and mold spores. It is sewer water and very dangerous healthwise. I'm just glad we got someone, our neighbors up and down the street are frantic. No one is answering the phones because everyone is innundated.
By some miracle we were able to find a flood cleanup crew to come and help us and they were able to open the jammed storage room. What they discovered:
We lost two large antique bureaus (standing in 4 feet of water, large pieces of the furniture warped and buckled), a good deal of books (some of them first edition collectible versions), papers, toys (including the children's brand new Christmas presents, a pool/airhockey table~played with only a few times, and dearly loved~! and a cardtable/chair suite for games and the brand new Boggle game sitting out, waiting to be played and never played, and tossed against the walls, mud and dice everywhere).
I wish I could upload the images from the digital camera. It was like 27 large dumpsters had been unloaded into our storage room, they had been covered in sludge, and stomped on. That was where many of the above mentioned items were (even in socalled "waterproof" boxes).
Worst of all we lost many boxes of irreplaceable children's art work and school papers, at least a couple full years' worth of the children's creations from the early years of elementary school. Apparently they can try to "freeze dry" them for about $500 per box, which may or may not be covered by insurance.
It's depressing, I burst into tears today. Both cars are likely to be declared totaled. The one we drove out of the flood, that took on water, started to smell like a sewer pit this morning. We drove it anyway coz we didn't have anything else. The van, parked in the driveway, had taken on 4 feet of water. We drove it to the dealer late this afternoon and they are renting us their very last fleet car, a Town and Country van. So, we are counting our blessings.
I don't know when I will be back online, but we won't be back home from at least a few days. We didn't grab any more clothes from the house, we were so busy on the phone and in storage. SO, I'm thinking of going to a laundromat tomorrow to try to wash some of our mildewey, river-water clothing, rather than send it out for $50-$100. The kids start school tomorrow and I told them that anything dry and not muddy was school clothes.