Helping the Clear-up in Ponta Delgada

Thanks to Mike Evans fir sending me this along with the photos.

Yesterday, the Mayor of Ponta Delgada made a request for help from “any competent persons” with the cleanup from the floods.

So, we put together a team (A multi national post-brexit team!!!)
Me (Welshman owner of Paradise Engineering in Arco da Calheta)
Robin Crane (Visiting Firefighter from the UK looking to relocate out here)
Thorsten and Isabel Mommer – two adventurous Germans who spend extended time in their house out here, and ultimately want to live here 100%.

We presented ourselves at the Bombeiros of Sao Vicente, and were guided to go to Ponta Delgada.

After some wrangling to get past the police who were stopping sightseers, we got to Ponta Delgada, and to a scene of rocks and water…
Lots of water…and rocks. Wow – it was quite a sight. Rivers running down roads, piles of displaced rocks and eroded roads being cleared by earth moving machinery.

We were a bit surprised that there was no-one to guide any volunteers, so after some poking around and asking, we were guided to a homeowner who clearly needed some help.

We arrived to a sea of mud!
The flood had knocked down a wall, and poured into the patio and lower floor of the house, and neighbouring palheiro,  leaving a 200mm – 8” layer of sloppy mud behind – everywhere – including the living room!
It was heartbreaking to see.

Nevertheless, we got stuck in moving the slop around, and with more (younger, and more energetic) help arriving by the minute, and the wonderful homeowner supplying cake and madeira, we all managed to return some semblance of normality to the house by 2.00 this afternoon.

Robin, in particular, having seen this kind of destruction before, made an amazing job of fully cleaning up the laundry / utility room and returning it to service – as this is likely to be the first room the homeowner needs to use.

Sadly, we couldn’t do a full clean down, because there was no mains water, but we left it in a condition where the house owner had a chance of clearing up, rather than facing a mind boggling sea of mud to sort out.

We were all more than happy to help out and muck in. (yes – sorry – pun intended).