As the flood waters began to rise to historic levels, Jan Van Kessel knew that his home, just 30 feet away from the shoreline on Wharf road in Hudson, was threatened by imminent flooding – and he took action right away.
Jan, whose profession is in car wash control systems, found a way to keep the water out of his house with an ingenious use of sandbags, sump pumps and determination. Instead of placing the pumps just inside his home, he came up with a better plan.
In front of the three doors of the house, and with help from friends and neighbours, Jan had sandbags placed in a half-circle shape – and then put sump pumps just inside each barrier. This way, instead of having to pump water already infiltrating his home, he pumped it away before it entered.
Water surrounded the rest of the brick house by several feet and did infiltrate the unfinished basement. He started with one sump pump, but as it rose to its highest level on Sunday there were five pumps going full time – so the upper part of the house wouldn’t be swamped from underneath.
Only one area was affected, a pantry downstairs not connected to the full basement and was filling with water and could not be drained – so he went in the kitchen, drilled some holes in the floor and set up a system to redirect the water into the basement where it was pumped out.
Jan managed to save his house and has minimal damage, by using his knowledge and creativity and can soon move back into his home where he has lived for 18 years.