Thursday 21st May 2009
Well it certainly blew a hooley last night, the fly screens were rattling and the rain was crashing against the windows from about 2am, it got really bad just after 5am.
When Ian got to the Café this morning it had stopped raining, he had gone in early to meet our cake supplier and to start on some cooking and preparation which he invariably struggles to do when the Café is open.
Ian opened up the Cafe, walked round to the take away area to switch on the Slush and Ice Cream Machines and found that his feet were getting wet.
The take away area was flooded, apparently it happened just after five this morning, there were floods of water coming through the ceiling, pouring out of the light fittings.
The butchers at DBC rang the centre manager to let him know what was happening, but the butcher said it sounded like he thought that he was exaggerating and by the time the centre had opened nothing had been done about it.
We felt that in a situation like that, the centre management should have contacted us as soon as they heard that there was a problem, if only so that we could try and salvage any equipment or stock that may have been in danger of further damage, needless to say we didn’t get a call.
When the centre opened at 8am, the cleaner, shop staff and good Samaritans were still all trying to squeegee the water from the main concourse out into the street, fortunately the rain was holding off so it wasn’t getting any worse.
Not long after 9am the heavens opened again, by this time the water knew the quickest way in and we had waterfalls pouring out of the light fittings, fortunately they have a metal case around them so they didn’t blow but it certainly looked weird with these circular waterfalls pouring all over the floor and happening so fast there was nothing we could do about it.
Then the water started pouring out of our shutter housing in the take away area, it was just a wall of water landing on the counter.
At about 9.30am Ian rang the centre manager to tell him that there was hundreds of gallons of water pouring through the roof and that something needed to get done about it, “oh hundreds of gallons is it” he replied in a sarcastic tone, Ian reiterated that yes it was hundreds of gallons and that the public area was flooded.
He said “thanks for the call, I know about it and I’ve got it covered”, Ians initial thought was you obviously haven’t because the water is still pouring in, but decided not to stoop that low and put the phone down.
About half an hour later, a tradie looking sort of guy came in to the centre, had a look at the water pouring in and presumably after ringing the owners to confirm the situation, went up onto the roof and came back holding a plastic bottle that had got stuck or been stuck in a down pipe causing the water to back up and flood the roof space.
The guy who looked like a tradie and who found the plastic bottle in the down pipe turned out to be a tradie, but if we didn’t tell you, you would never in a million years guess what trade the guy who the centre management had sent out to investigate the problem was.
He is an Air Conditioning Engineer, now own up who would have picked one of them in their top five when looking for someone to repair a leaking roof? Presumably by not doing something about it when the problem was first noticed at 5.30am, meant that by 9.30am the normal people who deal with leaky roofs were busy dealing with leaky roofs belonging to people who rang earlier.
Just out of our area behind the take away counter we mopped up over 21 litres of water, how do you know? You might ask, we know because we measured it just in case there is going to be an insurance claim at the end of it.
Fortunately we didn’t have any stock damage, but our new take away counter was soaked and being made of chipboard may well swell up in which case we will need to claim for a new one and we have no intention of claiming off our own insurance.
As for trade for the day it was weird, the forecasts were for heavy rain and up to cyclone strength winds and we were not to be disappointed as it happened just as they said it would.
When the wind and rain died down the centre would be really quiet, in fact the whole town would be quiet, when the wind and rain fired up the centre and the town were heaving, it was almost like they were all looking for doom and gloom, coming out to see if they could find any damage or torment that they could tell somebody about.
The wind and rain carried on for most of the day on and off, but the shopping centre ceiling seems to be holding up now that the obstruction has been removed. That one plastic bottle is going to cost the centre a fortune in refurbishments because the ceilings are quiet badly stained and the paint has peeled off.
In the evening after the kids had gone to bed we watched Sleepless in Seattle, bit of a chick flick we know, but a good film none the less and Tom Hanks looked so young then.