Some in Northeast DC still dealing with fall flooding aftermath

It’s been five months since torrential rains caused an overflow of wastewater in some Northeast D.C. homes, and residents are still concerned about what’s not being done to repair damage.

“I had to fully gut my basement. Most of the homes in Edgewood that were affected are still gutted right now,” said one resident, Jessica Sarstedt.

So far, she’s been approved for $1,000 of the up to $5,000 in cleanup money that DC Water is providing to each affected resident. But in addition to the long process of receiving approval for her claim, that amount is still not enough, she said, and she’d like to see more done to help residents rebuild.

DC Water has been making payments directly to plumbers fixing the damage while providing other resources, said spokesman John Lisle. So far, he said, DC Water has approved more than 300 claims and has expanded the backwater valve program.

“We empathize with the residents who suffered flooding,” he said. “We have really done everything we can to try and assist them and again, it’s above and beyond what’s required legally.”

When it comes to rebuilding homes, Lisle said, residents are able to submit separate claims, in addition to clean-up claims. But Ward 5 Council Member Kenyan McDuffie is calling for immediate action.

“Many residents are still living amid the damage because they cannot afford to make repairs,” he said. “The claims process has taken entirely too long.”

WTOP has contacted Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office for more details on what’s being done to help residents affected by the flooding.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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