Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flood and Cleaning Up

There are so many things memorable this flood. When the water rises, we flee, especially if your house is single-storey cos there is not a single dry spot in your house! A state of panic tends to set in. And once the water level stabilizes, your hopes rise cos you know the flood will recede soon. And you begin to make plans to clean up...

This time, my church members organized themselves into groups, armed with pressure pumps, wiper and push brooms.... and food. Kudos to the Social Concerns Committee. As soon as the water receded, groups would move in to help with the clean up and also the lifting down of the furniture from whatever higher level. Cleaning up was a massive task as the mud would be everywhere. And if you leave it to dry, you'd need more effort in the clean-up process. And while the groups worked, there'd be those who prepared food. Cold drinks would make their appearance as we were in the midst of working. People just stepped in once someone did the organization. Truly God sent!

KL gave me a call to go over with my pressure pump on Monday morning. I had gotten up very early to clean my porch as I knew that a busy day awaited me. With my boy's help we cleaned up our porch in 40 minutes!

When I arrived, the stench and sight that greeted me was enough to bowl me over. Sometimes, the shock is just so great that you don't know where to start. But start we did.
Flood 2010,Alor Setar
I phoned LF and asked for reinforcement. Both she and her other half came with another pump. Soon other friends came and we began to clean the house section by section. It was a lot of hard work but 4 hours later, the house was clean again.
Flood 2010,Alor Setar
Doors get warped after being soaked in the water. There are lots of repairs which need to be done. There was one door which totally refused to budge even after we hammered it. And furniture made from chipboards would literally disintegrate in your hands when lifted up. Only solid wood would withstand the soaking, hence, everywhere now, you see piles and piles of damaged furniture by the roadside. The damage is extensive!

Then Ah Ho phoned me and told me I was needed at another friend's place. As there were already enough reinforcements and only a small section left, off I went. When I got there, the kitchen had been done but the pump that had been working there was on its last legs. Another church member also came with his pump at around the same time I arrived; and dividing up the work into sections, we were soon done too. We then met up at Esther's place to clean up her kitchen and porch. When I got there, lunch was on the table! We tucked in as we were all famished. Fried beehoon had never tasted that good! 8) The other group had also just finished at KL's house and were there as well.

And it was time to move again. I went to 3 more houses that day. In each house, we would divide our work and clean our areas. With everyone pitching in, work got done very quickly. Many hands indeed make light work.

This is my second major flood in 5 years, and this is far worse than the previous. I know foremost in everyone's mind in the aftermath is the cleaning up. It's daunting! The mud and stains would mean hours of scrubbing, what more caked ones! But very often, because the water gets to so many things, you are left with a feeling of despair. The first thing that can bring back that sense of normalcy is a clean house. Else, everywhere you turn, you are reminded of that despair. So it's very heartwarming that so many offered their help, including people like LF and Andy whose house was flooded too. They went beyond their own troubles too...

I dropped by KL's house yesterday night! The house was spotless... it was a total makeover! Except for a few hidden corners in cupboards and shelves still with some dried mud... they had replaced some of the 'melted' furniture and everything looked so normal again. I am sure it's the same in all the other houses too. Life is slowly moving back to the way it was before the flood....

I did 2 more houses the day after and another today; the porches... I've never cleaned so many houses in such a short time. Every single joint ached the day after! LOL! It was good that so many made the effort to bring that normalcy back into our lives. And it was also a good time to bond... sometimes it's just nice to know that there're people there for us. Sometimes it takes a calamity to bring people together too....

4 comments:

Dino said...

Do you have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket or do you have flood insurance?

monay said...

Way to go girl.... You guys are awesome. Now I know what a power washer can do... learn something new every day.

AJ7 said...

Dino: Flood insurance??? I've got house insurance but my insurance company simply refuses to insure me for floods. Am thinking of changing company already! But now after this flood, I guess most companies also won't be thinking of giving me flood insurance...

Monay: If you want to have an easier time washing, power washer is the way to go.

PreciousPearl said...

well done on sustaining the community effort! most people would only clean their own houses ...