The good part (yes, there is a good part!) in all of this is that the landlord responded quickly and we had a new water heater installed the next day (and, since we're renters, there was no money out of our pocket--see? Good!).
The bad part, is that the moistening of the carpet padding and the surrounding wall seems to have released the old tobacco smells that had been disguised by paint and carpet. So, all attempts to dry the flooded area have resulted in a nasty cigarette smoke/must smell being spread throughout the downstairs! Once again, nice!
So, I have to decide how to best take care of the problem, without making all of our downstairs belongings stink to high heaven. Those of you who are aware of what a sensitive nose I have must know what a dilemma I am facing. Which is worse...stale cigarette smoke or increasing mustiness? Both so nice! I feel such guilt at sending Ginger back in there to sleep, but it will have to happen one of these days.