Thursday, August 02, 2012

Florida Ave NW resident's Email to DC Water's Emmanuel Briggs

From: Florida Avenue NW resident:
Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:24 PM
Subject: Bloomingdale Flooding
Dear Mr. Emanuel,
I am not able to attend the special meeting on August 4th because I will be out of town, but wanted to get my points down so that I can make sure they are addressed. First let me say that your tone in the email of July 20th is perplexing to say the you REALLY think that sandbags handed out AFTER three consecutive storms i that caused flooding is something to shout for joy over? The message about the sandbags wasn`t even communicated ahead of time. I just happened to have a neighbor text me and ask me if I needed bags and he took me to get them. I have read the ``action plan`` and would like to point out that MOST of them require homeowners to shell out money...thousands of dollars for a problem that is squarely the City`s. Many of us do not have the disposable income to pay thousands of dollars for a backflow preventer and a ``raised barrier`` is also costly AND not physically possible on all homes. Providing consultants at no cost who will help with ideas of ways we can spend MORE money to make our homes flood proof is laughable.....if the city would prioritize Bloomingdale and FIX THE PROBLEM WITH THE COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW, then homeowners wouldn`t have to live in fear each time there is a storm and they wouldn`t have to take costly measures to try to keep water out of their homes. I am looking at no less than $10,000 in expenses related to the three floods and I have little faith in any sort of reimbursement from the city and its not covered by my homeowners insurance. I rent my basement unit which has caused me all sorts of problems, since I am responsible for a safe living environment for my tenants. Another point on your list of ``action items`` is to have homeowners get a sewage overflow rider....well just so you know many insurance companies are fully aware of the issues DC has with pipes and flooding and to my knowledge only TWO companies offer such a rider and it only goes up to $10,000. Unless the problem is fixed, you are looking at a LOT of people who will stand the risk of getting dropped from their insurance even if they are lucky enough to have the rider since they would have made three claims in less than a month just this year alone....please, do some due diligence before offering trite solutions to frustrated, cash strapped homeowners who are wading around in sewage overflow that goes up to their knees. I witnessed a manhole cover blow off in the crosswalk in front of my house because the water pressure below was so will my backflow preventer work under such high pressure situations and what about my neighbors who may not be able to afford a backflow preventer and therefore don`t have one??? I have seen it suggested that the city pay for installation in all flood areas, but have not seen a response to that suggestion. Free installation of backflow preventers would be a much better bullet point on the ``action plan``.
I called to request that the catch basins at 2nd and Florida NW and Florida and R St. NW be cleared since that is where the flooding begins and was told I would receive a phone call back confirming when that had been done and have yet to receive that call....the stickers all say 2011 except for one where the bus stop is on 2nd and Florida NW.
You say that a packet was sent out to all homes....well I never received one and checked with my neighbors who also didn`t receive one, so you`ve missed some homes.
People are frustrated, scared every time it rains and not able to throw money at the problem that is not of their making. Please consider the above points prior to the meeting on Saturday and come with a REAL plan that can alleviate homeowners` fears and leave us feeling like things are actually being done that will have an immediate effect on flooding, not just rhetoric an placating words.


Linwood Norman said...

"Thank you" goes to Scott for posting this message because even though some residents cannot attend the upcoming Saturday meeting, they still have a story to tell in terms of the decades-long failure and neglect of DC Water to take responsibility for its inadequate sewer system.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

Mr. Briggs sent out a response this evening to this Florida Avenue NW resident. I have placed his response as a new post: