Today was not a good day. I realized a little after midnight that my drain on my balcony was totally plugged up and I already had 2 inches of water; another inch and it would come over the doorstep. My Super was no help, he told me to poke at it, well really, I hadn't thought of that already... Anyway, I spent the night scooping water into buckets so that my apartment wouldn't get flooded as we continued to have torrential downpours and the weather was warming up (we hit 50 today) and everything was melting. In the morning, I was able to determine that not only was the drain frozen but I also had a little tree that had had grown on the outside wall into the drain & drain cover. After a promise by my super to send someone but no show, I took matters into my own hands. Armed with boiling water, the longest screwdriver I had and a hammer, I started work at removing ice and tree roots from the drain while draped over my balcony wall and contorting myself to reach it and praying I wasn't going to take a header off the balcony and down 4 stories.

Success!! After much effort and banging with my hammer, I managed to get bits and pieces of the tree to come out. Eventually, I also coaxed out the majority of the roots and ice and the drain started flowing again. Thank Goodness for my trusty hammer! Couldn’t have done it without it.

Gretchen Thomas

Katie Pertiet