Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bloomingdale flooded this evening

I was attending this evening's ANC 5C meeting at All Nations Baptist Church and noticed, during the heavy thunderstorm, a number of tweets about Bloomingdale flooding.

Here are some tweets to the #bloomingdaledc hashtag:

58m Kenyan R. McDuffie‏@CM_McDuffie
Councilmember @kenyanmcduffie speaking to residents whose basements have flooded. #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/CM_McDuffie/status/222863588497440770/photo/1

1h Janai Macklin‏@JanaiMacklin
Ive lived in #bloomingdaledc almost nine years and my power never goes out...now it's out for the second time in 2weeks. What's up with that

1h Kenyan R. McDuffie‏@CM_McDuffie

Sewage on Rhode Island Ave is evident of overflow from heavy rain in #bloomingdaledc

1h Nikki Cosby‏@nikfc

@BloomingdaleDC @PepcoConnect Power out in #BloomingdaleDC again!!!?? Ugh!

1h Fritz Hahn‏@fritzhahn

"Slight" MT @BoundaryStoneDC: Yes, I would say there are slight concerns w/the development of #McMillan #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/BoundaryStoneDC/status/222858613079818240/photo/1

1h Jess Kutch‏@escapetochengdu
Power out for the second time in two weeks. This time, half the house is out. No A/C. #bloomingdaleDC CC: @pepcoconnect

1h Victoria Ramirez‏@victoriaramirez

Record heat, power outages, floods... what's our next scheduled plague? Pic via @BoundaryStoneDC #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/BoundaryStoneDC/status/222858613079818240/photo/1

1h rena h.‏@babyghost85

!!!! RT @BoundaryStoneDC Yes, I would say there are slight concerns with the development of #McMillan #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/BoundaryStoneDC/status/222858613079818240/photo/1

1h Boundary Stone ‏@BoundaryStoneDC

Yes, I would say there are slight concerns with the development of #McMillan #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/BoundaryStoneDC/status/222858613079818240/photo/1

1h Faye H‏@fayeindc
When is DC going to finally deal with the Soup Bowl in #bloomingdaledc ?

1h Steve Beam‏ @RealSteveBeam
Bailing out your flooded basement with solo cups is an excellent cardiovascular workout. #cross training. #bloomingdaledc. #cycling.

1h Bloomingdame‏ @bloomingdame

@CM_McDuffie #BloomingdaleDC flooding https://twitter.com/stephy1771/status/222852634854424576

1h rena h.‏@babyghost85

If a flood isn't an excuse to drink, I don't know what is!!! #bloomingdaledc

1h Crystal B‏@ crysb

Rain, rain, rain... and our power just went, too. #BloomingdaleDC

2h Jonathan Gitlin‏ @drgitlin
This is the worst flooding I've seen in the 3+ years we've lived in #bloomingdaledc

2h Jonathan Gitlin ‏@drgitlin

The 100 block of V St NW is flooded. All you people with english basements, take care! #bloomingdaledc

2h Katie Hughes‏@khugs

house flooding 101 St NW #bloomingdaledc help! anyone have extra sandbags???

2h Shaw DC‏@ShawDC

Er mah gerd!!! At @rustikdc and these backed up drains are out of control!!! #ShawDC #BloomingdaleDC http://twitter.com/ShawDC/status/222844771146797057/photo/1

2h Andrew Nazdin ‏@andrewnazdin

Rhode island ave is a river. Median is gone. #dc @wtop #bloomingdaledc http://twitter.com/andrewnazdin/status/222843428675911681/photo/1


  1. I live in Ledroit Park on the border of Bloomingdale, and everyone on Florida Avenue from 5th to 6th street had their basements flood because of the city sewage system. Water and sewage came up through the drains both outside and inside people's basement homes. It was so bad that the fire department had to come.
    Is the city responsible for this?

  2. In all honesty, we've had harder rains than this in the last few years that our system was able to handle. Part of this is because last time we got devastating flooding (it's been about 5+ years, DCWater (then, DCWASA) would routinely come and clean every catch basin as routine maintenence. This is especially important in low-lying areas that also happen to receieve high foot traffic. The debris collection in some of the basins can be staggering. I used to routinely check them myself in years past by lifting up the manhole covers but more recently got complacent due to the fact that we've not had this kind of flooding in years.
    So everyone should check to see that the inspection sticker on their nearest catch basin is up to date. If in doubt, call it in!

  3. Chris, Thank you. For those of not inclined on these issues, can you tell me what a catch basin looks like. I'm at the corner of 1st and Rhode Island, and I want to make sure to check this later. Is this something that is for each residence? each block?

  4. This isn't the first time I've seen the manhole cover blow in the middle of 1st Street at V Street. In fact, it's the 2nd time in two years. I blame the Tiber Creek (which still flows, by the way). It's also the 2nd time my apartment has flooded as a result. 1st & R and RI & T are getting all the ink, but the flooding was just as bad up the hill in north Bloomingdale from W down to RI. When we get that much run in such a compressed time, it overwhelms the system. Our catch basins at the corner show they were cleaned in May. DC would have to dig up the whole system and install larger pipes to try and fix the problem, and even then, there's no guarantee.

  5. randomd: "DC would have to dig up the whole system and install larger pipes to try and fix the problem." And that is exactly what DC Water is doing. See this from 2007: http://www.dcwasa.com/news/publications/070907_CSO%20Update_OctoberFIN_WEB.pdf

  6. Hold your horses, guys. Yes the Tiber Creek did exist but why is it that we have gotten through much worse storms than this without flooding in years past? I went around the neighborhood today (after going to war with @DCWater on twitter) to make sure the catch basins were truly clean on 1st and Rhode Island as they claimed. Not only were they full of trash but they were still full of water and only trickling out through the adjacent sewer pipe! I have pics and video showing this and will post soon.

    I think it's time we sat down with DCWater and really figured this one out once and for all. That requires a detailed map of the current sewer system - complete with catch basins, main lines and peripheral ones and an explanation of how it works. Then we need to figure out a way to keep debris from building up inside (from the videos and pictures I'll post, you'll notice the pipes that carry the water from the basins are no bigger than about 18in). Also, instead of getting on the defensive with the same BS we have been hearing from them for decades, I want to see DCWater get out there to clean AND TEST (by flushing) the system.

    Only then will I be satisfied that they are "doing everything they can", short of changing the entire system.

  7. There will be a civic meeting on Monday starting at 7:00pm with DC water and various other advocates to discuss the following in Bloomindale, LeDroit Park, Shaw, and etc.
    Contact information is below:
    St. George's Episcopal Church is located at:
    160 U Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20001
    Phone: 202-387-6421

    Please come out and attend, get your voice heard, and demand soluations now, not a 20 year project.