People in line for sump pumps at McGuckin Hardware in Boulder waited patiently, chatting with others in line, commiserating about the damage to their property and offering clever solutions to clean-up problems.
"Did you ever see the show 'MacGyver'?" said McGuckin Hardware marketing manager Louise Garrels during a break from stacking sump pump boxes. "It's been 'MacGyver' moments, day after day, hour after hour."
Garrels said employees at the store have been learning new tricks for how to make do with what tools and supplies people have--use WD-40 here, put a piece of Duct tape there. Since Wednesday when flooding began, the locally owned Boulder store has received shipments of pumps, rain boots, fans and other flood supplies from Denver, Chicago, Utah and St. Louis.
Although she didn't know exactly how many McGuckin Hardware employees were on site Saturday, Garrels said anyone who could get to the store came in to help out. Employees talked customers through what they need and what steps to take to dry out, clean up or prepare for more rain.
While her husband ripped up the carpet in their basement on Table Mesa Drive, JoAnn Schmohe waited in line for a sump pump. They'd been borrowing one from a neighbor, but then he got water in his basement, too.
Already Schmohe and her husband had removed two basement toilets so that water could drain. Schmohe worried about forecasts of even more rain through the weekend.
"It's like wait a minute, it's gotta stop," Schmohe said, laughing.
Outside the store, MB Bissell waited for her ride-- a pickup truck-- with two carts. One, a pushcart stacked with six large fans and the other, a shopping cart full of various hoses and clean-up supplies.
Bissell watched from her deck at 7th Street and Pleasant Street as water slowly creeped up toward her house, using nearby rocks and trees as reference points for how much higher the water was flowing.
"I now have a beach in my back yard," she said.
At one point, the water in Bissell's basement was hip high, she said.
Her plan for making their finished basement liveable again is to first pump out all the water, then tear out the carpet and carpet pad. After that, she'll use the six fans to completely dry out the floors and walls to prevent mold.
After that, Bissell said she's not sure when it will be safe to use outlets or if her water heater, furnace and washer and dryer will be salvageable.
At Target in Boulder, hundreds of shoppers bustled around the store and stocked up on bottled water, paper towels, paper plates and disposable utensils, cleaning supplies and other food items.
In her cart, Ula Szewczyk had potatoes, Windex, an eight-pack of heavy duty paper towels, cans of Coca Cola, bottled water and other food. She said she was worried about forecasts for more rain Sunday.
"But what can you do?" Szewczyk said. "You can only get ready and see what happens."
Contact Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/sarahkuta.