D.C. flooding leaves a mess in the District
People who live in northwest D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood are preparing for the possibility of more flooding Tuesday after spending Labor Day cleaning up the mess from Sunday night’s storms.
On Monday, residents found their cars under water and basements a a sloppy, muddy mess with storm and sewer backups.
This was the fourth time this summer this has happened here after a strong rainfall.
"This is definitely the worst since we've lived here. We've had one or two floods before, but this summer, I've never seen anything like it,” said district resident Missy Eaton.
With more storms in Tuesday's forecast, residents are preparing for the worst.
After an hour of putting the dry vac to use, puddles are still visible inside Erica Moltz' car.
"Before I even remembered where I parked it, (my) car was flooded out as well,' Moltz says.
A D.C. councilmember is now calling for the establishment of a relief fund for victims of flooding in the Bloomingdale neighborhood over the weekend.
Kenyan R. McDuffie of Ward 5 says rainwater the city government must intervene.
But on Monday, news of more rain on the horizon meant sandbagging and other preps, as the flood prone neighborhood worried and wondered how to keep the water out.
Two streams used to run through the area, but were diverted long ago. When it rains, the flow of water returns to its former paths.
But some residents believe the root of the problem is an antiquated drainage system.
Mark Mueller of D.C. adds, "There is a natural flow through here, but there also is an infrastructure that was set up toward the beginning of D.C., which can't keep up with current D.C."
Two weeks ago Mayor Gray visited and said the city would complete a $2.6 billion sewage tunnel by 2025 to handle the water.
And though the city's appointed a task force to examine what's happening, residents ask why floods that used to happen every decade or so are now hitting every other week?
Meanwhile, not far away at the Shaw Metro, crews pumped several inches of rain water off the tracks inside the Shaw/Howard University Station.
At least five stations along the Yellow and Green lines were impacted—U Street and Columbia Heights Stations were also shutdown.
A layer of mud still sits on the tracks and the smell of water lingers throughout the station, which shut its doors at about 8 Sunday night.
Metro offered shuttle buses between the Mount Vernon and Georgia Avenue stations. But many people found other ways to get home.
"It's inconvenient because you have to another stop that works,” says Heidi Jasper, a Howard student.
For some it was just another in a long list of frustrations with the transit system.
"I feel like I'm going to have to get up extra early tomorrow to go to work. Something always shuts down Metro. I am losing confidence,” says Siddeqah Hofler, a Shaw resident. “I'm gonna buy a car now.”
The Washington Post reports that 3 to 5 inches of rain had fallen at the Children's National Medical Center in northwest Washington by 9 p.m. Sunday, while at least 2 inches had fallen on the city from the Capitol to American University.
Storms have been dumping rain on the area since Saturday. Forecasters attributed the stormy weather to the remnants of Isaac, and said the Mid-Atlantic region would continue to feel the effects into Wednesday.
With all the new development in the area and old sewer lines connected to new additions, some make the claim that the city's aging and warn underground infrastructure is just overwhelmed whenever a large storm comes through.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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