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I'm pleased to report that our studio hasn't been flooded. About half of our neighbours, on the other hand, are not so lucky.

At a little after six, just as I was done admiring the giant hailstones that had been falling around the studio, and had gone back to my laptop to tell some of my friends about it in IRC, Kitty from the costuming studio at the beginning of the hall came in to ask me for the corporate landlords' emergency phone number. She said that she had a major leakage from the roof, causing flooding in her studio and was going downstairs to the studio below hers to check if it wasn't seeping through there. I looked up the number, came after her to give it to her, and then got on with scavenging the area for buckets, waste bins and other containers to put under the leaky spot.

The leakage was bad! It looked more like a pipe had sprung a leak than the sort of thing you usually get with rain seeping through the roof. Her entire floor was submerged and the bucket she had put under the leak was already overflowing. As it turned out, the studio below her did have some minor seepage, but it was nothing compared to what was happening to hers. Two people from that other studio also helped out with buckets, moving vulnerable objects and also bailing out the floor. Luckily, Kitty's home decor taste runs to the Brutalist, so she has a bare concrete floor that water could easily be scooped up from. Not so luckily, her studio-mate, an animation student, had a case full of paper materials for his graduation project in the path of the flood water. Most of that was salvaged, though, but it was a close call.

That studio wasn't the only one affected by leakage though. At the other end of the hall, two other studios have been flooded - we could tell because water was running off into the hallway from them. Unfortunately, the users of those studios weren't in, and were unwilling or unable to come over to check the damage, so the extent of the damage there isn't known. I have reason to believe that in at least one of them, it could be considerable, because I paid a visit to the office below that one, and it looked like a pipe had sprung there as well.

As someone who wasn't personally affected by the flooding, I found bailing out, tossing buckets of water out of a third-floor window (and possibly onto the heads of poolgoers below), and mopping up the hallway afterwards rather fun. At some point I had to wipe a goofy grin off my face as Kitty, who saw her life's work and that of her studio-mate in danger, looked me straight in the eye. Yeah, I know. It wouldn't be fun if it was my stuff going to hell. But it was a break in the monotony, and an opportunity to meet the people on the floor below me, who I rarely exchange more than a few words with.

Kitty's workplace has a drain duct leading right through it, and that was where the leak was, which explains why it gushed down so badly. I don't know about the places at the back of the hall.

I do know that one reason we (the five of us using no. 3-21) escaped from this was that we'd spotted a leak one or two years ago during a similar, though less severe, storm. That did mild damage to a few comic books, which is a low price to pay for being forewarned and prepared. Lucky us... but we're still going to look into insuring our studio against this sort of thing.

... After the storm, those of us who were still hanging around in the building were treated to a fantastic double rainbow. Also, walking down the tree-lined path by the cemetary on my way out, I spotted the biggest rainworm I'd ever seen, crossing the road at great speed and with more determination than I'd ever think a creature with no face or limbs could possibly be able to express. What this summer lacks in hours of sunlight, it makes up for in freakiness.

Update: Not to be outdone, Geir emails a link to an Aftenposten article with pictures of the flooding in Kongsberg, Norway, where he works. Damn those Scandinavians and their one-upmanship!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 9, 2007 9:20 PM.

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