DC Flood Task Force begins work to bolster flood readiness
November 17, 2021
The Flood Task Force for the District of Columbia convened for the first time Wednesday. The Task Force, established by City Administrator Kevin Donahue, includes 13 agencies and 15 consulting organizations that will collaborate to identify policies and projects to equitably strengthen the District’s flood readiness.
The Task Force reports to the Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure (DMOI) and is jointly co-chaired by the Director of the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of DC Water.
“The September 10 storm underscored the growing risk of severe flooding due to climate change and the urgency to do something about it,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Things are only going to get worse due to shifting global temperatures and weather patterns, and we need to work together to protect and prepare our residents and our city in every way possible.”
DC Water CEO David L Gadis added, “The Mayor and City Administrator recognize it is going to take a village to identify and address the causes of flooding in the District. To that end, it is great to see so many agencies and stakeholder organizations come together today, ready to roll up their sleeves to tackle this persistent problem.”
The genesis of the Task Force was the significant rainstorm on September 10, 2020, which caused flooding in many neighborhoods in the District and affected hundreds of residents. It was the most recent example of the extreme wet weather events that have resulted in interior flooding and sewer-line backups in the District.
In establishing the Task Force, the City Administrator noted that “flood events and water damage will be more frequent and severe in the future due to climate change, and most of the areas in the District that are known to be at risk of flooding are inhabited by residents that are vulnerable and economically disadvantaged.”
Within 12 months, the Task Force will produce a report that includes an action plan for each of the following categories:
- Flood and sewer line backup insurance
- Repairing flood damage in low-income homes and neighborhoods
- Flood proofing of individual homes and facilities
- Sewer line backups and backwater valve installation
- Flood mitigation infrastructure projects
- Regulations, legislation, compliance, and permitting
- Mapping and modeling
- Flood mitigation planning and coordination
- Flood emergency planning, response, and recovery
For additional information on the Task Force please visit the website: DCFloodTaskForce.org
Julia Robey Christian