More Water Woes

Plumber #2 is still working out in our front yard (2 days later), but that isn't the day's biggest water news. The big news is that it's been a really rainy spring, and for some reason, my office building has its gutter drainpipes *inside* the building rather than outside it. (You can probably guess where I'm going with this, right?) Well, for those of you who couldn't guess, here's the story:

At about 2pm today, I heard a loud clunk followed by a gushing water sound. I knew what it was immediately; when I was taking pictures of the rainbow last month, I'd noticed the drain cap and photographed it because I thought it was interesting. "Holy shit!" I yelled, we've got a flood! Call Bonnie [our admin]!" Bonnie wasn't at her desk, so Winsha ran upstairs to tell the receptionist, and Vic hollered for wastebaskets. Dan, Vic, and Debbie set up a bucket brigade as the water that had gushed out in the first few seconds seeped under Alain's cube.

Irina had the presence of mind to think of the power strips on the floor, and hurriedly unplugged everything in Alain's cube before the water could reach it. Meanwhile, a plumber was already on the premises (though it's not clear whether he was there to fix the clog that caused our flood or some other problem on the roof), so he came down, saw us running back and forth to the kitchen with the wastebaskets, and said he'd be right back with a new cap. Vic asked if we could use his plunger to try to plug the hole, and he said fine and left.

Dan plugged the hole with the plunger, and for a few minutes, everything was looking up. That is, until Dan couldn't hold back the water any longer, and it EXPLODED out of the pipe, drenching him and flooding three more cubes, including mine. Luckily I'd piled all my power strips and cords in my chair, but the idea of standing around in a puddle of water with electrical equipment all around me did not appeal. I quickly unhooked my PC laptop, locked up my Mac, and called my husband to come get me. I've been working at home since about 3:30. Hope my cube isn't all smelly and mildewy on Monday.

Photos of Dan holding back the deluge (L) and my cube after some of the water had receeded (R) by Dalbir, who had the presence of mind to document the events.

Dan plugging the pipe with a plunger Dan plugging the pipe with a plunger

Posted by Lori in work at 9:06 PM on May 2, 2003