The heroes live here in Lewes

January 12, 2018

Forget the Fantastic Four! They can't hold a candle to Adrien and Louis, and then there is Joey.

Thursday, in the midst of one of the coldest, snowy days we can remember in our nearly 22 years of living in Lewes, a fountain of water erupted in our front lawn, quickly turning to muddy ice. A call to Lewes Public Works and a call-back from Joey in Long Neck informed us it would be a while until anyone could make their way here to turn the shut-off valve and stop the spouting water.

We called our local plumbing/HVAC company, who we have used these 20-plus years, and they said they were closed until Monday, but they would have someone call then. Our next call to Harry Caswell Plumbing indicated that they too had to remove trucks from the road Thursday afternoon, but would have us contacted first thing the next morning.

About 5 p.m. that afternoon, Joey arrived with his backhoe and turn-off tool after dark, but had to return to public works, again in the backhoe, to get a tool long enough to reach our valve. Joey was hatless and it was cold. Did we say cold? It was below freezing when a muddy, wet Joey secured the water shut-off.

Friday morning arrived with its sub-zero windchill, along with Adrien and Louis in their Caswell truck. They immediately attacked the site of frozen mud with plain hand shovels. Hours went by, and when they were four to five feet down, one of the men disappeared in the hole.

After scooping up buckets of liquid mud to empty the hole, one of our heroes was handed a large saws-all. A few minutes later, up came a piece of pipe. As the hours went by, we tried to encourage the men to come in to warm themselves and have some hot chocolate, but they continued to work.

More big equipment arrived but didn't work. Joey returned from public works, and the incredible team continued to dig and work with bare hands. Eventually, a very rusty four-inch galvanized iron nipple, which connected the shut-off and our PVC service line, was presented as the culprit.

Another connection, and we once again had water. About 7:30 p.m. our heroes finally had wrapped things up enough to head for home. This job would have been a tough one at any time, but given the very extreme weather, it took men like these who must have super-human talents. The Fantastic Three!

Maryanne and Dave Ennis


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