In Praise of Portable Pumps

Thursday was an interesting day around here. It started raining in the morning, and began to really, really rain in the afternoon. Whole neighborhoods of Milwaukee County were badly flooded, many repeats of last week when hundreds of basements were hit by sewage backups. A sinkhole opened up on the East Side and swallowed a traffic light and an SUV.

We were lucky; we had one upsurge of storm water into the basement when the storm grates in the streets were overwhelmed, but it subsided quickly. I attribute this to the fact that we bought a portable pump in 1996, after a previous “storm of the century.” As a result of owning one, we have never had to use it.

We now know the pump works, however. Walking Partner and her husband had a small amount of flooding in last week’s rain, which they handled with a wet/dry vac. Thursday their basement had two inches, so they gave our pump its baptism. All reports are that it worked fine.

More rain is expected this weekend, although from the looks of things on the radar, it won’t be nearly as heavy or go on as long as Thursday’s. Still, I decided we should leaving the pump on their back porch so whoever needs it can use it.

Friday morning I braved the humidity and drippy trees and walked down to the parkway to inspect the river. The scene below is the Menomonee River flowing over the bike path; there’s a bridge just around the bend that was under water as well but I couldn’t get close enough to get it in the photo.

The line on the sidewalk is the debris line from the crest, probably overnight, since the pavement was dry when I took the photo around 9 a.m.

The little dot between the water and the debris line is a chipmunk on its own neighborhood inspection.

Update on Sunday, July 25: The river’s down considerably. I biked down this path twice today, once to pick up some oatmeal and bananas at the natural foods co-op, and once to a frozen custard stand to pick up a quart to have with a berry pie after supper. (Frozen custard = ice cream, but creamier. It’s a Milwaukee thing; just ask Joe Biden).

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In Praise of Portable Pumps

  1. Mike Starr says:

    Linda Presto lives around the corner from this… she’s out of town (she sent me these links from Oregon).

    Voiceover’s *NSFW*.


  2. Nature can be so unfair. You have too much rain and we’re hoping for a little more coming off the Gulf. We’re trying not to be greedy because our long term drought ended this spring, but gosh, I’ve been dragging around the sprinkler.
    Stay safe!


  3. MaryWitzl says:

    You win: you’ve got more water over there, and who’d have thought? I can’t get over that picture!

    Thanks for loading me up with the idea of custard. Now I’m going to have custard (frozen or otherwise) on my mind all evening…


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