Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our flood adventure: shortish version

This was originally written around 13 nov 2011, though I have added a few things to it to reflect what happened afterwards..  I wrote versions of it to various people, but hadn't gotten around to posting it to my blog.  Let's see if I can get back into this blog this year.
By way of preface: Thai faced its worst flooding in 50 years, or 'ever', or... a long time anyway.  Our province, Ayutthaya, is at a confluence of several rivers, and always floods, but usually just closer to the rivers.  This year, we were the last to be hit.... but we were still hit.  
On october 12, we were advised to leave our house as the water was coming our way. A niece and nephew happened to be spending a couple of days w/ us (visiting from elsewhere in Thailand), and helped us move whatever could be moved. This saved our refrigerator and washer, and most of our furniture. I cannot tell you how valuable their help was. We had no clue what to do, but they worked like crazy for 3 hours, and saved us soooo many problems.
We moved to a conference center in our community. By the next day, the water was coming up a little. And on 14 october, it was threatening our car. We had go by boat to see our house bec all the roads had turned into lakes. At that point there was about 4" of water inside our house.
We left for Bangkok while the roads were still passable and stayed w another niece.
On 21 oct we went in a pick up truck to see our house. Most roads were impassable so we took a roundabout route that took several hours. It had 8-10" of water in it. On 29 oct, we went again by pick up truck, another multi-hour trip. This time the water in the house was down to abou 3-4". We took out a few more clothes.
By 3 nov we heard there was no more water in our house. We wanted to have the floors cleaned but had to go drop off the key. We heard it was possible to get there by car, so I decided to drive, on 5 nov, I think.
After a couple of false starts bec of newly flooded roads, plus one point where we advanced 3 km in 3 hours (not exaggerating), and drove through every kind of water, mud, and sand, we arrived at our house at 17.30, 10 hours after we had set out. My car looked like it had been in the Paris to Dakar car race.
It was too dark to go see our house, so we decided to spend the night in the community center. I didn't want to drive back in the dark under such horrible conditions.
The next morning we drove back in "only" 2 hrs 45 minutes, and our floors were cleaned, without us seeing.
We returned to our house on 11 dec.  We are still repairing and replacing, but the place is fine.