Hurricane Sandy really did a number on us and created extra work.  Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that our house was built in 1817 – it’s a great house, with lots of character:

The one drawback to this character of a house is that it doesn’t have a ‘regular’ basement – back in the day it was used strictly as a root cellar, and there’s a small natural spring that used to run directly into the basement to keep things cool as well as give the original owners in 1817 their version of indoor running water.  Subsequent owners dug the basement a little deeper before adding a cement floor, sump pump pit, gas furnace and hot water heater.

When it rains heavily, the sump pump is usually working overtime, and the sump pump pit is always full of water.  While areas of the floors end up wet as the spring tries to find its way to the pit through the basement, there’s usually not an issue with too much water in the basement, so the pallets we have strategically placed enable us to store stuff down there without threat of getting wet.

Except, of course, for the mega rain storm we got in 2008 that filled our basement with 5-feet of water.  The basement ceiling is only 6-feet, so that was quite disconcerting.  Farmland just down the road from us had been sectioned off and sold to a construction company who had clear-cut every last tree on the property to build a housing development.  They learned the hard way that they didn’t create proper drainage in the case of excessive rain.

That same construction company spent the next few months completely redoing the drainage, which solved the excessive rushing water incident that caused flooding and damage to the existing houses all up and down our road.  Until Sandy came calling, that is.

We ended up directly in her path, and ended up getting tons of rain and high winds that knocked over trees and power lines.  When our power went out, we knew we were in trouble with the basement, because without power, obviously the sump pump wouldn’t be able to keep the water out of the basement.  It just kept filling up.

Thankfully the local volunteer fire company were willing and able to come pump the water out so we wouldn’t end up with bigger problems instead of the big mess.  When the water would reach the level between 2 and 3 feet, we’d give them a call – they had to pump our basement no less than 5 times in 3 days.

After our power finally came back on and our sump pump was able to do its job, the real work began.  Sandy left our basement looking like this:

I had to dig through what was left of the soggy cardboard boxes to salvage full and empty wine bottles, and was heartbroken on the number of items I had to simply throw away.  We started stacking the soggy mess in a pile that the hubby aimed a commercial fan on to start drying it all out to make it much easier to move.  It’s amazing how heavy cardboard is when it’s wet.  We’ve been nibbling at the disgusting mess, and hopefully will be able to finish our clean up efforts over the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Bet you’re jealous of the fun, eh?

Thankfully Glad ForceFlex Trash Bags are making the clean up job a little easier:

These have been invaluable in the clean up, because they allow us to stuff them as full as possible without worrying that holes will form or stuff will leak out.  The hubby was caught off guard when I filled one with the stuff from the basement freezer that I had to throw out – he wasn’t expecting it to be as awkwardly heavy as it was.  I wrestled it up the steps and let him wrestle it out to the garbage cans.

I love Glad bags – they do what they claim, and make clean up much easier (which essentially makes my life easier).  I tried some store brands that were supposed to be comparable just to save some money, but it ended up costing more, because more often than not I had to double-bag (which in most cases occurred when trying to remove the full bag of garbage from the garbage can and ended up putting holes in it, spilling garbage on the floor which did not make me a happy camper).  I switched back to Glad and haven’t looked back – or been tempted to stray again.

Just for fun, check out the Glad “After the Wild Life” on Facebook – they have a ‘Missing in the Mess’ game that’s fun and addicting.  You can follow @glad2Wasteless on Twitter too.

Do you use Glad Trash Bags?  How do you tackle the mess?




Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Glad. I received products to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. As always, all opinions are mine and not influenced by outside sources. See my Disclosure Policy here.

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