On Saturday we had some eventful weather, torrential downpours interspersed with periods of sun. One of those downpours, complete with dramatic thunder, got going when we were out walking the dog, causing us to proceed homeward with more haste than we otherwise would have. The excitement of our close escape—we reached our front porch just as the serious rain was starting—was perhaps the reason we didn't notice until the next day that the storm, and its fellows, had deposited a fair amount of water in our basement.
Now, even though we have a fieldstone foundation we're usually pretty free from floods, even during snow-melt season, so I was surprised to see that a short-lived deluge would have caused such an inundation. Was this a troubling portent of things to come? Is our foundation disintegrating entirely?! Today, though, I think I found out what happened. The downspout at one corner of the house normally has a little curve at the bottom of it, to direct the flow away from the foundation and onto a concrete chute (which is, by the way, a historical artifact; probably cast in 1925, if not before). The force of the rain (or something) knocked the curved part right off, so the all water coming off of one side of the roof was being channeled directly into the foundation.
Happily, not much damage was done, at least immediately. The only casualty was our bag of ice-melt—obtained at great cost and effort by my mother in the midst of a state-wide ice-melt shortage last winter—which absorbed as much water as it could hold and bloated to three times its normal size. I do hope we have a few dry days coming up though, or else the basement might not smell so sweet come summer.
And now that downspout is jammed together tight, let me assure you!