Sunday, May 29, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

The other night, my buddy Jon called me up asking to be a sound board for him while he hashed out some ideas. Always looking forward to hanging out with him, I readily agreed. We spent a good couple of hours driving around south Utah County just talking, laughing and having a grand ol’ time.
About 1:00 in the morning, we were just getting back into Provo, and as he was dropping me off at my apartment, Jon received a call from his mother-in-law saying that their basement was flooding. He said he would be right over to help out.
As I jumped out of the car, I told him that if they needed additional help, to give me a call. I don’t think either of us thought he would actually do it.

About 40 minutes later, after he had assured me that he probably wouldn’t be calling me, my phone started to ring. It was Jon asking if I could come help out. As I hadn’t climbed into bed yet, I told him I would be right over. I threw on some old shoes (figuring they were going to get wet), and headed on over.
Now Jon’s in-laws live in a fairly nice neighborhood. I knew where their house was because Jon had pointed it out to me on a few occasions. When I arrived, I couldn’t find anyone answering the door, so I just walked on in and found my way downstairs.
This house was AMAZING! Besides being relatively brand-new and very well maintained, it also happens to have a TWO-STORY basement. How else are you going to fit your indoor racquetball court?

So I found everyone down in the racquetball court, where I walked in on the following scene:
Father In-Law was running one of two shop vacs, sucking up water from a very large pool that wasn’t getting any smaller. Meanwhile, Mother In-Law and Sister In-Law were bucketing out a second shop vac that was already filled with water. Rushing back and forth with filled 5-gallon buckets of water, Jon and his Brother In-Law were hauling these up the two flights of stairs and out the back door to a storm drain.
I jumped right in and started hauling buckets outside. We got into a pretty good rhythm of filling one shop vac while the other was being drained by hand. We were completing a full cycle of filling, switching and draining in about a minute and a half. We did this straight for over 3 hours, from 2 AM to 5 AM. We calculated that we carried out over 1,000 gallons of water…and we were just barely keeping up with the in-flow of water.

All during this time, there were also two full-time pumps running that had been installed when the house was built, plus a Disaster Recovery Team was setting up another pump to help drain the basement.
Needless to say…until they got set up…it felt like an exercise in futility. My hands, still sore from roofing a few days earlier, were cramping up and sore.
But I was happy to be there helping out. Eventually, the Disaster Team was set up and operating, and they had a second team that was almost ready to go as well. By this time, all of us who were manually working were completely and utterly spent physically. So at the word of the Father In-Law, we called it quits.
Jon’s Mother In-Law said to me, besides expressing her extreme gratitude, that she was impressed that I was there helping out instead of being in bed like most normal people. She said that I must really be a good friend to Jon to be willing to help out.
I told her that I was very happy to help out, knowing that if the roles were reversed, Jon wouldn’t hesitate to help me out as well.
Besides…friends help you move. REAL Friends help you move bodies…of water.


Gretch said...

Zach to the RECUE!!!!! AGAIN!!!! You're the BEST!!!!!!!!!!

whitney said...

Ahhh, what a great guy! I can only imagine how exhausted you must've been.

Call me a cynic, but I have my suspicions you were just vying for a racquetball invite ;)

Craig Lifferth said...

sounds like a job for the A-Team!