Midwestern Luck

I spent part of Saturday with squeegee in hand, pushing basement water into the floor drain. It had been quite awhile since we’d had to do that – sealing the tiny, seemingly insignificant hairline foundation crack appears to have helped. Plus, we haven’t had a heavy rain in several weeks.

Friday afternoon on through Sunday, our lovely town got between 8 and 12 inches of rain, depending on which weather report you believe. One broadcaster said that if our deluge had been snow, it could have been up to six feet! That sounds a bit sensationalist, but regardless, we had a ton of rain, and the ground couldn’t absorb it as quickly as it was falling. We awoke to standing water in the yard, and dared each other to check out the basement

But you know what? We’re pretty lucky. Even though we had a bit of basement flooding to clean up, it was nothing compared to other areas downhill, closer to the river, where people had to evacuate and lost possessions or entire rooms or homes. On the northwest side of Chicago, the Chicago River overflowed its banks, sending entire blocks of people scrambling in boats, like Venice or Amsterdam.

And even worse, this same weekend, thousands of Houston and Galveston residents lost everything. Not just some flecks of floor paint or a couple empty cardboard boxes – these people lost their homes, their things, and their peace of mind.

The coastal areas have hurricanes, which, though with some warning, can be absolutely devastating and annihilate entire cities. California has earthquakes, which come with no warning but accomplish the same end. The Midwest really has no equivalent. Sure, in theory an earthquake could strike – and we’ve had a couple very minor ones, centered far enough away as to not cause much shaking. Tornadoes hit with very little warning, but their path is relatively limited, capable of flattening small towns, but never on the scale of New Orleans or Galveston. We get snow storms, but they don’t typically cause much damage, either, and you can stay home for a day or two while the roads are cleared.

Our cleanup only took ab0ut 20 minutes, plus hanging the rug out to dry once the rain finally stopped and opening the window to air things out. I consider myself pretty lucky to live where I do.

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