Thursday, July 26, 2012

Besty McDaniel: "Flooding in Bloomingdale" (published in DC Watch's The Mail today)

Many of you may be familiar with Gary Imhoff's and Dorothy Brizilll's DC Watch, which includes a periodic email named "The Mail."

"The Mail" email today includes a submission from Bloomingdale resident Betsy McDaniel:

Flooding in Bloomingdale
Betsy McDaniel, Bloomingdale, bloomingdame @ gmail.com

[An open letter to Kenyan McDuffie and other councilmembers] Do you intend to call for another ``All hands on deck`` today [July 23]? Will the Bloomingdale neighborhood continue to live in anxiety today and throughout this period of summer storms — some forecast, others unexpected? The anxiety combined with the physical and emotional exhaustion of the cleanup, the potential health hazards, permanent property damage, financial loss, lost time at work, loss of business income . . . the toll has been tremendous. We cannot wait until 2025 for this problem to be solved. If cleaning the drains and inspecting the sewer drains will help, then why did it take so long to occur? We also cannot wait until August 4 for another meeting of the Bloomingdale Civic Association with DC Water. Homeowners, renters, business owners need help and information now!

I am asking you to call an emergency town hall meeting this week, to be followed by a DC council hearing in August, with representatives of all agencies that could provide immediate assistance with this crisis as well as offer short and long term solutions — the mayor, councilmember, Councilmember Graham (whose constituents in LeDroit Park have suffered, too), DDOT, DPW, DOH, DOEE, DCRA, and DC Water. This is not a new problem, and there should be ideas that have been previously considered, implemented or not, that can be put before the public. While DC Water has offered a Bloomingdale Action Agenda, it is the responsibility of DC government to assist their constituents and protect their safety and their property, and ensure that all agencies are performing properly in a timely manner.

Bloomingdale has become one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the DC real estate market, but I question any assertions that the increase in new homeowners has exacerbated this problem. It would seem something has happened very recently to cause this problem — whether it is clogged sewers, a breakdown in the infrastructure, or new construction further up the lines — previous storms have generally only caused flooding in the streets and not the back up in homes and business that we have witnessed in the last thirteen days. We need your help and leadership.

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