Another home, another calamity.
No matter where we choose to live in Hong Kong, something bad happens. This time we were flooded, thanks to Typhoon Chanthu; its outer rain bands nailed Hong Kong with so much precipitation the Black Rain warning went into effect for about two hours.
I saw the water come through the gate and had no immediate way to stop it. I ran into the deluge with lightning flashing all around me, searching the yard for something I could use to redirect the water, which was gushing in at high speed. By the time I'd figured out a solution it was too late: the water had breached the doors to the house as well as the emergency drains.
I concentrated on blocking the flow at the source, using a large stone tile and the dog house to route most of the water away from the gate. Eventually the neighbour appeared with heavy metal plate and a plastic tray, which I added along with another stone tile. That slowed things down enough for me to begin unclogging the yard drains one by one. Even though I couldn't see them I knew where they were, and every grill was choked with debris that I scooped by the handful into a bucket so I could throw it over the wall. In the process I racked up my left hand, but pain had to wait, because no sooner had I got the water to drain from the yard I had to clear away the remaining detritus and hose the mud away so it wouldn't clog the drains again.
Next I had to tackle the interior; while I was outdoors my wife had made a valiant effort to bail as much as she could but there was just too much. For the next hour we worked to first drain away as much water as possible, followed by wiping up the mud. But as she had work to do I cleaned her desk space and got her computer back up and running and told her I'd take care of the rest.
Hours later I still haven't finished, but I've done as much as I can tonight. The next morning I will have to pull everything away from the walls to get at the water and mud hiding there. Once that's done I must then clean the whole house with disinfectant, because I'm certain that not only rainwater and mud came in, but sewage to boot. It will be slow going as my hand is now swollen and painful; I can't make a fist.
I must then inspect the damage for our insurance claim, but I already know that everything made of wood or pressboard has to be replaced, which includes the bed frame, closets, bookcases and so on. I also plan to source and order some sandbags so that the next time we get heavy rain I can properly keep the water from getting through the gate. Had we had sandbags we wouldn't have been flooded at all.
If there is a bright side to this mess, it's that this didn't happen while we were in the Mediterranean.