It was a shitty weekend – quite literally.
Started out well. Justin picked me up from work around 5:00 on Friday, we went to dinner and then to Borat (yes, realize we are the last people on earth to see it), then went for drinks afterwards. Went home to his apartment and fell asleep around midnight. Lovely.
But at around 4:00 in the morning we were awoken by a bizarre sound in the bathroom. We rushed in, and the toilet was overflowing – but not like a normal overflow, like a full-on geyser, totally gushing out water. And it was covering the floor fast. Justin called the manager and I threw down a few towels to try to keep the SEWAGE in the bathroom (silly, Kasey) – but within minutes it was flooding the entire fucking apartment. I ran into the bedroom and managed to save what was on Justin’s closet floor (shoes, golf clubs, etc). But that was about all we could get to. And did I mention that during this I’m in my pajamas, standing in FREEZING COLD RAW SEWAGE while barefoot?
We ran around doing what we could – saving some things and dragging them out to higher ground, but it was fairly futile. All his furniture is gone. The entire place was under 2 inches of SEWER water within 10 or 15 minutes. Everything that was touching the floor has HUMAN SEWAGE on it. And it didn’t just come out of the toilet, it poured out of all the sinks as well – bathroom and kitchen. So everything in the kitchen – everything on the counters, in the dishwasher, drawers, everything is covered.
We went back to my place, showered, and sat there dazed, watching the whole thing unfold on the news. A water pipe had apparently frozen and burst outside, so there were torrents of water flowing down the entire street, basically right into Justin’s apartment. The whole basement of his building is flooeded – and he’s the only basement apartment (I think one dude in a building next door was affected as well). After a while, we got dressed (in clothes that later would clearly need to be thrown away or burned) and headed back there to stand around in the freezing cold sewer apartment all day, trying to save what we could and moving everything out. Pretty much the most demoralizing day ever. (Nothing like looking at a big wad of someone else’s toilet paper on your living room floor.) Justin has an amazing perspective and sense of humor and was doing as best he could, but it was hard on him. I tried to keep it together most of the day, and could make jokes and laugh at a lot of it, but then would just be totally overwhelmed with how badly I feel for him. (As you’ll see in the news clip, I’m laughing because we can’t get the VCR unhooked. What you don’t see is that about an hour later I’m crying because we’ve been standing in sewage all day and I’m freezing cold and exhausted). So, so gross and overwhelming.
He’s moved in with me for the time being (we expect it will likely be at least a month for them to fix his apartment – everything from carpet to molding to dry wall to cupboards has to be removed). What he could save (not much) is in a storage unit, and his clothes and stuff are at my place.
And the best part? He DOES have renter’s insurance…but they AREN’T COVERING any of it!! Apparently, the city is at fault and they don’t cover this because the pipe broke outside of the apartment builing. So now he has to submit a claim to the city and see what happens.
I’ve included some freaking gross pictures below (blurry, from the camera phone) and links to two of the news clips. He was on all four local stations, but only spoke to a couple of them…by the afternoon, his patience was wearing a little thin. The camera man from Fox 13 did help him move the bed, though, so they were at least a little useful.
Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross
Click "Watch this story" on the first link – you can see us packing up what we could salvage. And you can click on the video in the link below and see Justin being interviewed and footage of the apartment.