Some Northeast DC residents still rebuilding after fall flood

Jessica Sarstedt’s basement still looks like an incomplete renovation project — following the heavy rainfall that flooded some Northeast D.C. homes with raw sewage last fall. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

Ten months after heavy rains flooded Northeast D.C. homes with raw sewage, some residents are still trying to rebuild.

Jessica Sarstedt’s basement, for instance, still looks like an incomplete renovation project.

“Closet walls and doors are torn off. The drywall is cut,” said Sarstedt, walking through the unfinished space. “Rebuilding is in the tens of thousands of dollars.”

She’s among the 183 residents who got some cleanup help from DC Water following that rain Sept. 10. In all, over $1 million has gone toward assisting customers.

But Sarstedt wants to see more funding, to help residents restore homes to their original conditions.

“We’ve received nothing for rebuilding costs,” she said. “I’m incredibly frustrated. This was not anything that homeowners could have imagined.”

In response to concerns, DC Water said it’s working with the District on an awareness campaign to help residents be better prepared for “and resilient against” flooding. Customers can visit D.C.’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking website or visit DC Water’s Sept. 10 flooding page for more information.

WTOP has contacted Ward 5 council member Kenyan McDuffie’s office to comment on the call for more assistance.

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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