DC Water Implements Assistance Plan for Residents Impacted by Flooding
September 17, 2020
Two initiatives to assist flood victims were announced by DC Water last night, including one that will give residents direct financial assistance with removing standing water damage in their homes.
The two programs are one time only and are aimed at helping customers who were impacted by the historically heavy rainfall of September 10 which caused heavy flooding in upper Northeast DC and across the region.
“Flooding can have a terrible impact on folks and we are sympathetic to customers who suffered in this last rainstorm,” said DC Water Chief Executive Officer David L. Gadis. “We wanted to explore every option for assisting customers and felt like we wanted to both help with cleanup costs but also reduce the odds of another flood damaging anyone’s home.”
On Saturday, September 12, Mayor Muriel Bowser led a tour of the affected neighborhoods and was joined by Mr. Gadis. Since then, the Mayor has urged DC Water to make resources available for residents for immediate cleanup and repairs and to prevent and cover storm-related damage.
Each program was discussed Wednesday night during a virtual city-wide town hall conversation to review the flooding and explain how DC Water contains and treats stormwater and sewage.
During the meeting, DC Water discussed how the Clean Rivers program is constructing miles of 23-foot diameter tunnels to contain and divert millions of gallons of dirty stormwater and sewage and treat it at Blue Plains. The program reduces flooding and is good news for the environment as well, through completion of the Northeast Boundary Tunnel in 2023 that addresses long standing flooding in the northeast part of the District.
Mr. Gadis said that backflow prevention valves will be paid for at a cost of up to $6,000 per property for any resident in the two communities that were hardest hit by flooding. The second part of the program will pay up to $5,000 towards the cost of flood remediation, such as draining water, removing damaged drywall or eliminating mold.
The promise of up to $11,000 in assistance per household does not apply to every home in the District and each homeowner should call DC Water at 202-354-3600 to determine if they are eligible. They can also check the utility website at dcwater.com/September10Flooding for more information about how the program will work.
The virtual community meeting was held for the convenience of customers and to minimize the health risks associated with an in-person gathering during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Attending via the Internet were more than 700 people, with another 200 or more people phoning into the meeting to listen or share questions. Mr. Gadis, Chief Operating Officer Kishia Powell and Clean Rivers Vice President Carlton Ray alternately responded to questions from customers and explained how the ongoing construction project has vastly reduced the severity and frequency of flooding – even if it can’t eliminate all floods.
A link to frequently asked questions about the flooding event of last week and resources for customers can be found here.