The cleanup has started. Three days after Ondoy struck, signs of life from the local government has been detected in the form of a water tanker and hose held by the barangay street sweepers as they attempted to clear mud and debris from our streets. This is more than I can say for some places in Cainta, San Mateo, Pateros and Marikina, still inundated by flood.
Water was chest deep inside our house, which meant it was neck deep in the street right outside the house, and consequently way deeper than that in the area that one must pass in order to enter the area. This is where most of the informal settlers have two-storey houses. They know about the floods that visit the area. The second floor is not so much as an extension of the house as it is an evacuation area when the floods hit.
My husband and I decided to leave the house when the water was chest high inside, in order to bring our daughter and our helper to the covered court by the barangay hall which was on higher ground. The flood started at around 9am, and was highest at half past 1 in the afternoon. When the water was obviously subsiding around 4pm we decided to bring Maia and Bebing back to the house. There was one bed that was more or less dry. We retrieved whatever was usable from our furniture that had been floating about for more than three hours, had the earliest dinner we recall and was asleep before 7pm.
When Bebing and I woke the next day at around 4am the water had subsided, but most of the furniture had been rendered useless. Most of our tables were made of wooden pulp, the kind that didn’t take kindly to inundations.
But we are luckier than most. We still have the house and most of our appliances have been found working after two days of drying out. We are all healthy, none of us have been adversely affected by standing and wading in the flood for several hours. We received several calls from Cris’s brother Masons, and text messages from my photography group the D60KREW. We are fortunate that people care for us, and have been praying for our safety. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.