Thursday, November 1, 2012

here I am...

Well, I've survived my second hurricane in Baltimore -- not that there was much to survive, as we didn't lose power or even internet -- but I can't say the apartment came through unscathed. The last hurricane (which was back in August 2011) basically just meant two days and nights of rain and wind; at the end of the second day, the cupboard ceiling above one of my closets sprung a leak, which I discovered via a trail of water on my bedroom floor (which is, thankfully, hardwood). I put a pot under the drippy part and the rain stopped sometime during the second night. Through the rain and even the snow we got the rest of the year and beyond, there was no more leaking.

Then came Sandy. Again, more rain and wind, but the closet cupboard leak started only a few hours in, this time with a vengence. Where a pot had sat before, a Rubbermaid tote was placed, and a bucket, and a plastic tupperware dish... then it came through the closet. Then in by my bedroom window. Then in the ceiling outside the closet/cupboard. Then in the bathroom above the tub. Then by the bathroom radiator pipe that runs up into the apartment above us. We scurried to strategically place plastic tubs under the drips, but they don't really make dishes that wrap around metal pipes. "I feel like we're bailing water out of a sinking ship," Jake said. The paint on the bathroom wall started to bubble as water seeped in behind it, and the ceiling above the tub -- which was already slightly damaged -- began to bow. Later that evening, it broke open and bits of plaster and other random junk crashed down into the bath tub.

The bathroom ceiling after it broke open. I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but there's a can of Ajax in there. How'd it get there?
Jake had the clever idea of taping plastic over the drippy areas in our room and cutting a hole so that the water would all drip out of one spot (and thus straight into the plastic tub, instead of all over the floor around it). Sometime Monday night the rain slowed, the wind died down, and all the dripping stopped. Tuesday morning, we covered the hole in the bathroom ceiling with duct tape and plastic so that we wouldn't get rained on by bits of debris as we shower.

Baltimore City was definitely lucky -- it could have been a lot worse. But I'm not sure how many more hurricanes my building is going to withstand. Hopefully we'll have moved on by the time the next one hits.

The landlords, meanwhile, didn't seem concerned about the leak during the 2011 hurricane, and after an unanswered email this time around, I texted the building manager to let him know about the ceiling, to which he replied that he was without power and dealing with "an array of issues," and that they would hopefully start working as normal on Wednesday (yesterday). Haven't heard anything yet.

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