Damp and powerless 

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Self at the Mouton Noir blogging after the flood

1st of May 8:00a. The sun is still shy, but shines through a blue water washed sky with the last yesterday's scattered clouds running away. I'm writing this post from the Mouton Noir with 12 wireless access points around me, and not one I can connect to.

Unusal dwellings for an usual situation. Let me tell you a little more of why I'm here today. A storm broke out yesterday late afternoon and drenched the area. It turned in to hail at one point. Not to worry, I was coding happily listening to Patricia Barber and lending little attention to the noise outside. Until I realised that the noise outside was actually coming from inside the building. Water was pooring down the stairs, the lift well, through the walls and the electric pipes. My office's coco mat was slowly pumping it all in. A large 2m by 3m patch had already formed by the door.

Outside, the floor was covered in water and the ceiling lights were starting to flicker. Just the kind of end of day before a bank holiday everyone wishes. Thanks Murphy.

An additional floor is being added the office's building, and the leaks (sorry, torrents) were obviously originating from there. Someone hadn't done his job properly and we were going to pay the consequences.

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I called the fire brigade frightened by the idea of the whole building setting alight. The electric boards were drenched, and live power was still being fed into them.

I didn't have many alternatives. I shutdown the server, unhooked the RAID drive, wrapped it up, packed important papers and docs and proceeded to a general shutdown of all the office's electric components.

I must admit I wasn't comfortable with the idea of walking out of the building with my feet in puddles of water while the lights were flickering above. By the time I got out, my neighbours were coming back at the same time the fire brigade stepped in. One fat fireman with a cell phone and a mop stepped out of a small flashing red van wondering what all the fuss was.

Is it me? Am I growing more paranoid as I get older? I was always told that electricity and water don't play well together. It took the authorities another hour to power down the entire building, by which time the storm was reducing in strength and my frustration was exacerbated by the idea of what lays ahead in terms of waste of time and admin.

So, here I am, emptying my soul on you waiting for the power to be restored and the insurance experts to arrive at the scene. The good side is that I haven't endured any substancial damage and that I'll probably get a new mat layed down. Maybe.

Another good side is that my choice of habouring all my digital assets in an external RAID drive was a good one. I was able to walk out last night with all my archives, assets and current work in a matter of minutes. I could even have ran if needed ;) My server and services can be restored in less than an hour. Talk of a desaster recovery plan. Nevertheless, a weak point remains the off site backup. I was on the scene yesterday and physically removed the drives. I need to plan some kind of off site backup just to please my ever growing paranoid self.

Shit happens.

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Comments and responses

  • 01 May 2007

    Yes, sometimes shit happens.. I can lend you a bucket to flip water outside, the next time =)

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