Bookman flooded

Guess what’s new at Bookman today? The entire back room has two inches of red mud on the floor and seeping up the boxes! The rear quarter of the main room is soaked and red with red rock. All the paperback on the floor, from the P’s of Fiction, through Psychology, through Anthropology and Theatre, to somewhere in History are soaked like sponges. All the magazines standing in folders likewise syphoned the water straight up.

At seven thirty this morning, a water main broke behind Bookman, exactly underneath the two trailers. By 8:30 the city water department reached me. They needed me to move the trucks before they could begin repairs. I met Dad down there.

Water was flowing out of the pavement. The asphalt was sagging just ahead of the rear wheels of the trailers. We’d have to pull them forward, over the hole, held up by the water pressing up from the broken main.

So the water people refused to turn off the water until I’d gotten the trucks moved, meanwhile the water was washing away more dirt and creating a bigger hole. Imagine everyone from the city and all the neighboring businesses watching and waiting on us and we’re waiting on a driver.

I saw the mud up on the back sidewalk and asked Dad if he’d seen any damage inside. He said no. When I saw we had to disconnect the power cord to the truck I went inside to unlock the back door. I took off my shoes to keep from getting the carpet wet. Walking in the dark I suddenly felt the carpet was squishy. I slopped barefoot through to the back door, opened it and greeted Dad.

The driver was good. He pulled the first one forward quickly over the hole. The second trailer he backed up and ran the tractor backwards over the hole. That one was the trailer Justin had packed real full and was the heaviest. Mike was taking Mpegs of the action, a luckily there was none. It could have been amazing and we would have needed a crane.

Randee arrived by this time and draped toilet paper across the aisles and wrote on them: Do Not Cross, like a police barrier. A customer went home to get a squeegy which he’d used when he had flooding. Meanwhile Dad and I repacked the graffiti truck so that the contents could handle the long drive to the storage yard. We put it right in front of Longs. Margot of Felix Realty took this occasion to intone that she didn’t ever want the trailers back.

So the water’s off for everyone. The dry cleaner is freaking, Pizza Hut closed for the day, and we don’t care, we don’t let anyone use the bathroom! They’ve got a back-hoe digging to clear some work space for replacing the pipe. It’s going to take a huge paving job because the dirt is eroded along the edge of the parking lot clear down to past Longs.

Well that’s the story so far. Mike took pictures for insurance and gawking reasons, meanwhile he and I were trying to repair the Toons computer, it was still down. It’ll be up, new and improved, making regular backups, by 7pm ETA. Mom helped out quite a bit and brought shovels and lunch.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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