WASHINGTON — Some homeowners in Northeast D.C. are still cleaning up four days after heavy rains forced raw sewage into many basements.
“All of us can empathize how disturbing a situation that is,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Monday.
“I was wading through 6 inches of raw sewage that flooded my basement,” one NE resident said. "Family heirlooms, couches, appliances, you name it — destroyed.”
“Is this a historical problem for the neighborhood? Some residents report yes, is it an issue with the storm? Is it an issue with their system?” the Mayor questioned aloud. “But bottom line is, what can we do about it?”
The neighborhoods hardest hit this time around are in the Northeast communities of Edgewood and Riggs Park, next to Fort Totten. DC Water sent crews there Monday morning to talk to neighbors. DC Water’s general manager even visited Saturday, but many found comfort or assurance. The general manager said DC water is now working to figure on exactly what went wrong. In the meantime, she recommended homeowners file claims with DC Water for the damage to their properties.
DC Water spokesperson said they are also expanding the backwater valve rebate program to those neighborhoods. But according to their website, the $6,000 rebate is toward the cost of installing a backwater valve to prevent future flooding. So, for the residents now left with thousands of dollars of damage to their properties, they said they’re only relief was that the water and sewage has subsided — for now.
A spokesperson for DC Water said the agency will hold a virtual town hall Wednesday for affected residents.