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customersruinmylife
12-08-2013, 12:43 AM
A friend of mine is a manager for a popular chain of hotels. The hotel he works at is next to the sea, and we suffered a major storm in the UK this week. The entire hotel was flooded and they have had to close until the damage is repaired. The hotel is a couple of hours away from where I live, but because of the flood, he is off work for a while and has been able to get home. Here are the stories he told me:

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The flood came out of no where. He was working the hotel bar when he literally saw a tidal wave of water come through the front door. There was that much water that all the windows started to smash and crack, allowing more water to pour in. He started evacuating the customers out of the bar.

SC: Can't we finish our drinks??

SC: Where are we supposed to gooooo?

SC: It's only water!!

The water flooded the hotel cellar to the point that it was touching the ceiling! It then reached three foot deep on the ground floor. Friend decided it was time to evacuate the whole hotel and set off the fire alarm.

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The alarms are going off. The girl working behind the reception has fled because she is small and the water is up to her waist. Friend hears the bell go at reception. He goes out and sees a couple standing there.

SC: We'd like to check in please?

The computer had literally floated away.

Friend said he got so ridiculously tongue tied at their stupidity that he couldn't even string a sentence together.

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The customers upstairs did not want to leave, and ignored the alarms. Friend had successfully evacuated the staff and bar customers, but the majority of guests in their rooms were still there! He had to go door to door, telling people to leave as soon as possible. The power had also gone out.

SC: Well it's not like the water is going to reach the third floor is it?
F: EVERYONE is getting evacuated. It is not safe in this building!
SC: We'll be fine. It's OK.
F: The fire brigade are coming. You HAVE to leave.

They did, but under protest.

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The hotel was empty, and many of the guests and staff took shelter up the road. Friend was continually badgered by customers demanding to know when they were reopening. He said you couldn't see the front door anymore due to it being submerged.

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Oh, and his Area Manager called!

AM: I need the hotel re-opening first thing in the morning!

Friend put the fire brigade on so they could personally tell him that was not possible.

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Oh, and he got an official complaint in to head office. Because while they were being evacuated, a bird shit on a customers head.

"It would never have happened if he hadn't evacuated us!"

Monterey Jack
12-08-2013, 02:12 AM
God, it's like passengers on the Titanic continuing to sip brandy and smoke cigars as the water came up to their waist...at what point do basic survival instincts kick in?! If there was WAIST-DEEP WATER flooding into the lobby of any building I was in, I would get the fuck out of Dodge.

wolfie
12-08-2013, 04:10 AM
Oh, and he got an official complaint in to head office. Because while they were being evacuated, a bird shit on a customers head.

"It would never have happened if he hadn't evacuated us!"

WTF? It was so bad, even the birds evacuated - their bowels. Even though they could fly away from the problem, the storm surge scared the shit out of them.:D

Seshat
12-08-2013, 04:30 AM
God, it's like passengers on the Titanic continuing to sip brandy and smoke cigars as the water came up to their waist...at what point do basic survival instincts kick in?! If there was WAIST-DEEP WATER flooding into the lobby of any building I was in, I would get the fuck out of Dodge.

Having to go through active floodwaters to get to safety, I'd be nervous. If I could stay above the floodwater until the initial surge had passed - or until trained rescuers arrived - I'd prefer to.

Floodwater has strange currents, sometimes very very strong. But while I can think of several ways it could bring down a building; most of the ones I can think of offhand take enough time that it's safer in the building above the floodwater, than in the floodwater.

Of course; this is my own opinion. I'm now about to go research what the experts say! :eek:


Edit to add:
Based on the info from several flood safety websites (run by assorted governments or professional emergency service organisations):
If you've got a choice between going through floodwater, or staying in the upper floors of a sturdy building; stay in the upper floors and signal professional rescuers to help you.

crazylegs
12-08-2013, 01:01 PM
Edit to add:
Based on the info from several flood safety websites (run by assorted governments or professional emergency service organisations):
If you've got a choice between going through floodwater, or staying in the upper floors of a sturdy building; stay in the upper floors and signal professional rescuers to help you.

Yep, all those utility access covers pop open and suddenly you have drops ranging from 6 inches to 20 odd feet under the surface of the water - and you can't see those drops. This is why water rescuers have poles to find the holes.

LillFilly
12-08-2013, 02:26 PM
I'm sure he would have been darned if he did, darned if he didn't. Perhaps there was still a clear path free of water through which he evacuated the remaining guests. It sounds like people were actively fording the floodwaters anyway to try and check in! And if he'd had them remain in the upper stories to await rescue, and then a survey found the building to be unstable after the flooding, he probably would have been sued for 'putting the guests in a dangerous situation!' So, meh.

Willis
12-08-2013, 04:16 PM
Do I question whether I can finish my drink/stay in my room on the 3rd floor cause you know I did pay for it and all. OR, because that or is apparently so debatable, do I run for my life so I don't drown in a flood? Decisions, decisions.

smileyeagle1021
12-08-2013, 07:23 PM
God, it's like passengers on the Titanic continuing to sip brandy and smoke cigars as the water came up to their waist...at what point do basic survival instincts kick in?! If there was WAIST-DEEP WATER flooding into the lobby of any building I was in, I would get the fuck out of Dodge.

On the Titanic it made sense (at least towards the end), they knew there wasn't enough life boats, they knew that rescue wasn't coming, and they knew the water was so cold that if they tried to swim they would freeze to death anyway... when one knows that death is certain, why waste any of the precious moments you have left worrying about it?

The guests in the hotel though that could easily escape but didn't want to, yeah, resigning yourself to death's inevitability prior to it being, you know, inevitable, is at best suicidal tendencies and really should be checked by a trained professional.

greek_jester
12-08-2013, 07:45 PM
Yep, all those utility access covers pop open and suddenly you have drops ranging from 6 inches to 20 odd feet under the surface of the water - and you can't see those drops. This is why water rescuers have poles to find the holes.

IIRC, in the last round of floods in the UK one poor chap died like that; he was wading along a flooded road, and didn't realise that a manhole cover had popped off. He slipped in and drowned before anyone could haul him out.

Monterey Jack, given that there weren't nearly enough lifeboats for those still on board and they were probably doomed anyway, why wouldn't they drink some of the (undoubtedly) fantastic brandy? Stiff upper lips really meant something in those days. How you died was often as important as why you died.

Willis
12-08-2013, 09:14 PM
On the Titanic it made sense (at least towards the end), they knew there wasn't enough life boats, they knew that rescue wasn't coming, and they knew the water was so cold that if they tried to swim they would freeze to death anyway... when one knows that death is certain, why waste any of the precious moments you have left worrying about it?

The guests in the hotel though that could easily escape but didn't want to, yeah, resigning yourself to death's inevitability prior to it being, you know, inevitable, is at best suicidal tendencies and really should be checked by a trained professional.

Exactly. In the middle of the ocean, you're a regular person knowing most of the lifeboats are going to some rich influential people, some rich people will die along with you but you know things are hopeless, might as well down a couple shots of that expensive liquor that's going down with you and the ship.

Those people in that hotel were just plain stupid. Don't like to call people stupid, but don't know any other word for those looney tunes.

ADeMartino
12-08-2013, 09:50 PM
Those people in that hotel were just plain stupid. Don't like to call people stupid, but don't know any other word for those looney tunes.


Stupid really IS as stupid does.

crazylegs
12-08-2013, 10:15 PM
IIRC, in the last round of floods in the UK one poor chap died like that; he was wading along a flooded road, and didn't realise that a manhole cover had popped off. He slipped in and drowned before anyone could haul him out.

Don't know if you're talking about the same floods I am, but one of my shifts some years ago was spent looking along the edge of floodwater for someone who drowned in similar circs.