Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Sunday brought torrential rain to some parts of Surrey. My housemate and I had gone to Cardiff to watch the footie, and returned to find all reasonable routes home had been blocked by localised flooding. In Ash and Chobham and Brookwood, the drains had failed and were spewing water back on to the road. After hours of detours and queueing whilst half-drowned coppers waved us cheerfully in various directions we finally made it home. That evening I packed a few things up because I was due to be working at her office on Monday.

At 8.30 am the call came to say that during the night the river behind her office had burst it's banks and the whole place was 14 inches deep in river water and raw sewage. By the time we reached the office a few hours later the water had mostly drained out, leaving this distinct tide mark for all (and insurers) to inspect.

Total devastation inside. It's a magazine company so years of back issues have been destroyed, hundreds of out-of-print reference books, photographs, not to mention carpet, files, printers, furniture. The annual audit had been completed on friday and the paper work was neatly sitting in cardboard boxes on the floor. Ouch.

So, we gathered what my housemate needs to get the next edition to print on time, and she has decamped here to my home-office, which has a spare desk that I use for freelancers anyway. I shall quite enjoy having her here I think :) And she already has urgent work in her intray ...


Blogger Brenda said...

Holy flood waters! That's terrible! What a lot of damage 14" of water can do! I have a friend who does restoration and her bread and butter is fires and floods - things can be saved with the right care. She's usually paid by the insurance companies for this type of work. Good luck with clean-up!

15 August, 2006 13:35  
Blogger Stray said...

14" of river water contaminated with raw sewage to be precise :)

We are still waiting for the e-coli count to come back from the water testers, but if it's significant then everything pourous that it touched will have to go for safety's sake.

The audit has gone to a restoration company who can hopefully salvage some of the paperwork. Most of the furniture etc is ikea, and luckily the most used computers survived intact, so no data has been lost, but it has reinforced the need for off-site backups. I used to be really down with that stuff myself but have slacked recently. Must get back to a system ...

15 August, 2006 19:10  
Blogger Quack said...

I am indeed enjoying working in your home office. Thank you for having me :)

Its all very sad but I am sure we will survive.. great excuse for a clear out anyway.

16 August, 2006 11:38  
Blogger PurpleSparkleBright said...

Loving the in-tray picture :)Wow that tide mark looks severe! eeeeeew, e-coli count! doesn't bear thinking about!

16 August, 2006 17:46  
Blogger MB said...

Eeeeeeew. How awful.

Backups are a good thing. A very good thing.

17 August, 2006 01:21  

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