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james (1129)

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Journal of james (1129)

Saturday May 18, 2002
05:32 AM

Building Flood!

[ #5038 ]

~ This is long, nothing to do with Perl, but I need to rant somewhere damn it! ~

I woke up at 4:00 o'clock this morning to the curious sound of drip drip dripping. "What the..." I thought. I climbed out of bed, and stepped over towards the wall and into a rather large puddle. Odd.

I switched the light and was horrified. My ceiling was leeking. And not just leaking, it was pouring. Now, I think Niagra Falls is as romantic of a place as the next guy, but having it move 3000-odd miles to directly above your bedroom at four o'clock on Saturday morning is not my idea of convenience

"Bollocks". I said. I must have left the bath on. I ran upstairs, through the dining room, into the bathroom, and to my relief, there was no torrent of water pouring from my place of clensing. So where was the water coming from?

I opened my front door and soon found out when my brain clicked that Niagra falls hadn't moved, and it was in fact, Victoria falls. I walked up the stairs, following the water. The woman on the next floor opened her door as I got on the landing and asked what was going on, I mumbled something about the great natural wonders appearing in unusual places and continued my quest to find the source of this interior nile.

Finally I got to the fourth and top floor. There it was. Above the floor level of the fourth floor it was dry, and below it was wet. I'd found my culprit in flat 8 (don't those people know we have import controls on natural products)


I knocked on the door.

Nothing happened.


I knocked again. Nothing doing.

I wandered back downstairs telling various residents I encountered that it wasn't another biblical style flood, but was instead coming from flat 8.

Not knowing what to do I switched off the power in our flat (at this point water was pouring through the smoke detectors, the lights, and just about anywhere else there was a hole in the ceiling). With this done, I wondered what to do next. I mean, this guy on the top floor could have gone on holiday, or been dead, or a billion other things that would leave me absolutely powerless to stop the deluge.

My girlfriend called the local council 24 hour emergency help line to ask the poor man there what we could do. He didn't know either. According to him the person in the flat had to make the call. "But what if he's dead?" we asked. "I dunno" was the reply.

Hmmm. Banging time again.


Wait. The door of the other flat on the top floor opens. "Hello" I say, gingerly. Remember its just about pushing five o'clock in the morning now and while that might be more civilized than when I was awaked it was still fairly unacceptable. "Hello" my neighbour who I've never talked to says. "Whats going on?". I give my spiel, we both seem a bit pertubed that my banging on the other flats door woke him up, but not the inhabitants that could do something about it.

"Just a second" my neighbour said, "I'll see if I can bang on his window". A few minutes later the guity party's door opened, and a extremely sheepish looking man stepped out and said "Sorry I left my sink running".

Who leaves their sink running. The bath I can sort of understand but the sink, no. Regardless, it was far too early in the morning, there was nothing I could do about the gallons of water filtering down through the building, so I went back to bed.

Now its 10:40. AM. The deluge has mostly subsided. I have to call my landlady and explain what went on. I have to go about mopping every surface on one side of my flat, and I don't mind this I suppose. What I really mind is that if the guy had been dead, there is no-one to call.

People have to be missing for 48 hours before the cops will do anything about it, and I have no delusions of kicking a door down to turn off a set of taps. The council emergency help line was decidedly unhelpful, which isn't to say that they didn't want to help, but rather that they had no clue either. I suppose the next step would have been to call the water board to get them to cut the water off to the building, but even if we did that then we'd have to wait two days before we could get the police to kick the door in and really get the problem sorted. I just don't know.

Needless to say however, I'm going to find out. Oh yes.

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