Unusually for me, this title couldn’t be more clear or unambiguous. Usually, I title things in a way which some call a little strange, but it makes sense to me – usually.
This eveing, we were flooded. It was terrifying, and scary, and in the moment I had no idea what was going on, or if we’d actually survive. Sure – I have a tendency to be a little overdramatic, but this, no word of a lie, was one of the scariest nights of my life.
My sister and I were at home together; my parents were at work, and we had just finished our dineer – vegetable soup, if you are at all interested. As usual for that time of evening, I was on the phone to one of my friends, listening to the radio and catching up on social media posts from the day.
All of a sudden, my sister ran upstairs and returned several sconds later with a towel; there was a little water coming in through the backdoor somehow [it was closed], from the AWFUL thunderstorms we’ve had here in London today. Of course, I thought nothing more of it – just a little water, that’s all.
Next thing I know, my sister is yelling at me to get upstairs and retrieve more towels; not only was water seeping in from the backdoor, but it was coming through the front now too. Frantically, I chucked down every towel, flannel, pillow, shower mat and cushion that I could get my hands on; my sister was yelling for as many appropriate water-soaking items as possible.
I think that the scariest moment in this part of the story was actually one, very simple second of time. I chucked down a fairly small cushion; not heavy in the slightest. Of course, being blind, I couldn’t see how much water was downstairs, and so when I heard this cushion cause a rather large ‘splash’, I suddenly realised just how much trouble we were in.
For the first time in my life, I called 999. Honestly, I don’t know what we expected the police to do: I had a slightly strange image in my head of a policeman coming to bail us out with buckets and water-sucking hosepipes. By this time, the water outside the doors had reached at least three foot, and a crowd of neighbours had gathered at a safe distance from our house, calling to us through the windows. Our parents were, of course, aware of our situation, and on their way home, but they work quite a way away, and due to the flooding in town, the roads were gridlocked.
As the rain subsided, the water levels outside the front door lowered significantly, and we managed to get one neighbour inside the house; we really wanted to get the electrics off, because by now, the whole of our downstairs was under a sizeable amount of water. The police also arrived, and said that the electrics should be OK: trust me, it was petrifying.
Finally, we got out of there. My sister and I went nextdoor to our neighbours’ house, where we had a drin and calmed down before our mum got home and saw the damage. The rest of the eveing has been spent cleaning the floors, ripping the carpet from the floor, binning so much stuff that is unsalvageable, and desperately trying to clear the smell of fowl water from our home. Our cats were all shaken – as was I -, and so they took some time to calm down, although a bowl of cat food soon did the trick, let me assure you of that!
I live on top of a hill, and have lied here for all 14-and-a-half years of my life. Each and every time there has been flooding in the area, I’ve always be reassured that, because we live atop a hill, we won’t be affected – it will be alright. This time, however, it wasn’t alright, and the fact that neither of my parents were home made the whole experience a whole lot worse.
I think the worst part is having your home attacked by something so uncontrollable, so unstoppable. Home is the one place where you can relax – it’s yours, where you feel safe and protected. To have that attacked so unexpectedly, and with so little to be done to protect it is heartbreaking, shaking and can make you feel really unsafe.
I know I won’t sleep tonight. whenever I lay down in bed, and allow my thoughts to run wild, I can only hear the splashing sound again, when I threw the cushion. It was terrifying; I’m so scared, and yet so relieved. More storms are expected tonight, and I’m nervous to see what will be in the living room tomorrow morning.