So the sump pumps have finally kicked on, about half a day after conventional wisdom declared Hurricane Sandy a done deal. We were surprised to see that the water level in the pits did not move a millimeter during the storm’s actual arrival and onslaught. We’re taking this as a sign our recent patio and lawn regrade has changed the flow of water around our house. Despite the damage Sandy did elsewhere, and the incessant threat sweat that heralded her even as far inland as our location, it just did not have the physical presence of last year’s Irene/Lee combo. Sandy was weird out here. Rain was in bursts, rarely sustained. Our ditch had some nice rapids in it, and the new yard channeled a fast-moving river, but the actual precipitation just was not as ominous (or as lengthy) as last year’s big stupid storm. The basement is dry. No leaks, no floods, no sump pump overflow, not even moisture spots on the walls. You might guess I spent most of Sunday and Monday night stalking around the basement preparing myself for the worst. Planning how best to install the floor pumps should there be a flood. Moving important boxes to higher ground. Unceremoniously deciding “well, that box is fucked” and leaving it to its doom. Figuring the “Mysteries of the Unknown” set won’t survive this one. But we’re cool! So far, things are cool. Read the book. Even though it took some time for the water to start entering the pits (I guess the ground finally saturated?), both pumps are currently doing the usual semi-constant schedule. Fortunately, with the storm out of the way, I don’t have to worry overmuch about a power outage. Much, anyway. I still have extension cables ready to go from the basement pit corners to the front porch should we need to switch to the generator. We’ll see how long the pumps continue pumping. Previously, several days of work was not uncommon after a good-sized storm. Between the generator, the concrete patio, the lawn regrading, the crack patching/wall reinforcement, and the ridiculous sump pump basement perimeter trench water removal system (don’t use the word “waterproofing”!), we did a lot to protect ourselves against future flood issues. My untrustworthy mental gears always tell me that we haven’t done enough, but dammit, when it’s all typed out like that… this was something we took super-seriously. I’m wildly relieved that things have gone as well as this. After all, last year’s storms were one portion of a stress feast that sent me to the emergency room convinced my heart was failing, just after New Year’s. So it would be great to end 2012 with a little more strength than that.