First Person: A Flooded Basement Will Cost Us $8000

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My husband and I have never been financially well-off, but we have managed to make a decent life for ourselves. He has always worked hard in order to provide for us, and I work as a freelancer to supplement our income. We have an emergency fund put away and a semi-decent savings as well, but that all may change because our basement was flooded out. This is what happened, how much it will cost us, and what we will have left after everything is said and done.

What happened

We went to bed on April 17 and nothing was wrong. It had been raining for two days and there was a flood warning for our county, but we haven't ever flooded in the past. At 3:00 a.m. on April 18, we woke up to our infant crying. He was getting wet from a leak in the window and there was water hitting the floor. We quickly tried to clean it up, but at the very end, water came up from the door where the sump pump was, and it was all over. We grabbed what we could and just watched as four and a half feet of water invaded the basement, where our living area was.

The cost

Nearly everything we owned was in those two rooms downstairs. We lost our furniture, toys, and clothing. There were very few things saved. The estimated damage for the whole basement is around $25000. That includes our little two bedrooms, a bathroom, common living area in the basement, the laundry room, and my brother-in-law's bedroom. Our own personal loss was put at around $8000, including all the electronics, furniture, and toys.

What will be left of our emergency fund and savings

Right now if we purchased everything we lost brand new, we would have a little over $1000 left. While that may seem sufficient enough, it is not. We had plans to buy a house in the near future, but it doesn't look like that will be possible. Our furniture alone will cost nearly $4000 to replace, and that doesn't include the electronics lost or the kids' items.

For now we will be keeping our savings intact. The basement will not be repaired quickly, so we will have time to replace everything without coming up will all the money upfront. I estimate our total spending to hit about $6000 out of pocket, even with the estimated loss being $2000 higher. While the short-term may look bleak, the long-term is what we have to keep in mind.

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