In case you caught metro Milwaukee (The Writer's home base) on the network news last week for its giant flash flood, your
waterlogged correspondent was, unfortunately, right in the middle of it.
Writers enjoy irony, so here’s some for you: You buy a new condo eight years
ago and in all of that time there is not a single drop of water in the
basement—not one—from all of the various rainstorms. But as soon as you put
your condo up for sale (with two open houses scheduled for the weekend), you
get a once-a-century rainstorm of Biblical proportions that simply overwhelms
the sewer system and floods thousands of basements. Including mine (with 8
inches of water).
During the storm you
wonder, what is that thing floating by my front door? Why that’s a canoe with
people in it, and your lawn and your entire street have been transformed into
the Mississippi River, and that river is rising right up your front steps and
you had better start moving your first-floor furniture to the second floor just
in case. The water is so strong and violent that it sweeps a 19-year-old man to
his death and blasts out the basement windows of some of my next-door
neighbors, filling their basements with 4 feet of water. After the water subsides, neighbors in two
adjoining condo units can suddenly shake hands in their basements because their
dividing wall has caved in.
Although it was a
traumatic, confusing experience, my wife and I got off relatively lightly,
compared to so many people in the Milwaukee area (one of whom had 10 feet of
water in his house). At this point it appears, after we heard many false
assumptions about our damage, that our only permanent loss is about 30 art
books of mine, all water damaged and probably unrestorable. I was so fond of
those books, which had been lovingly collected over the years. But hey, it sure
beats a ruined basement. Or worse.
--Ron Kovach, senior
editor, The Writer
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