Rain Brings Memories of Flood

It’s been raining off and on all day today. This reminds me of how I used to worry every time it rained.

Will the shop flood?

Our business is not in a flood plain, but it’s situated at a low spot where Shepherd’s inlets clog easily. We had them cleaned out about seven months ago, and so far we haven’t had any rain in the shop since.

In the past, our shop flooded a couple times a year. At the first sign of water coming into the shop, I would make a beeline to the closet and grab my galoshes. I would pick up any boxes with parts and get everything off the floor. I even bought special bed risers from IKEA for our waiting room bench. It’s our anniversary bench and I didn’t want it ruined.

When it would start to rain really hard really fast, our technicians dropped what they were doing, grabbed push brooms and prepared to shove water out the bay doors.

The water would first seep, then pour into the parking lot as cars whizzed by. The fact that the street was virtually invisible did not deter motorists from plowing ahead at the highest possible speed. Soon, car-generated waves would roll into the shop. It also flooded from the rear when the side street went under water.

When the flooding began, we established a rhythm: a wave rolls in; we push it out. One or two men would be stationed at each bay to repel the water.

Another tech would grab the sandbags that our founder Adolf Hoepfl had set aside for this purpose and pile them in front of the office door. If the rain was really bad, we would use a pulley and hoist the state inspection machine out of its hole in the ground in order to keep it dry.

When it was over, we set up giant fans all over the place to dry out the floor when it was all over.

I am so glad that doesn’t happen anymore. That was a lot of work.