Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Great Flood of 2015 Part III: Towing, triage, and a new kitchen

The first thing we did on the second day after the flood was to tow KBY to our mechanic to have him assess the damage. This involved slowly pulling KBY with one of our other land cruisers to Sarova Lodge where the mechanic, Kalu, has his shop.

KBY being towed to the mechanic's

After one broken towrope and an hour of driving, we successfully arrived at Kalu’s workshop. He informed us that the snorkel had not worked and the engine had flooded with water when the hood was submerged. It would take a lot of work before he would even know how extensive the damage was, but he thought it was possible that the car may need a whole new engine. With that bad news, we drove back to camp to continue with rebuilding.

Upon arriving back at camp, we found that Benson had returned from his brief time at home to help with flood recovery. We were all very happy to see him, but dismayed to hear the sadness in his voice when he told us that all of his books and his binoculars were ruined when his tent flooded.

Benson on his first morning back.
Ready for action!
One thing we decided that we desperately needed was our kitchen back. Unfortunately, the tent was seriously damaged during the flood and needed repairs before it would be usable again. Furthermore, the area where the kitchen had been was still covered in 2 inches of fine mud that seemed destined to stay a while still.

Where the kitchen used to live. It is still
too muddy to move it back here.
We decided to set up a temporary kitchen tent in an area that hadn’t gone underwater during the flood (just in case it flooded again!). Unfortunately, all of the tents we had in storage were wet and filthy, having also been submerged when the storage tent flooded. We spent the rest of the day cleaning, drying, then setting up the kitchen tent and all of its belongings in its new (temporary) home.

The temporary kitchen area. Tracy is washing dishes
on the left, the kitchen is in the back, and the
firepit is to the right.
Joseph in action in the temporary kitchen tent. Soup for dinner!
While some of us were working on the kitchen, the rest were tackling the lengthy task of drying, organizing, and triaging all of the lab tent supplies that were flooded. Although much of the lab tent contents were saved from the flood waters, there were still many items that were submerged, including those that escaped the water in the lab tent only to find it again in the cab of KBY when it drowned in Putrid Crossing. Many of these supplies just had to be dried and cleaned, but some of them had sustained irreparable damage and had to be added to the growing trash piles around camp.

It was a long day, but in the end we all sat down to dinner around a bonfire near our new kitchen. Despite all we had done and still had to do, we were at least able to feed ourselves again. That night, we felt that our lives had taken one small step towards normalcy. 

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