Video Story By Karen Gray Houston, @kghfox5dc - bio
It is getting old and mighty frustrating for the people who live and work in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest D.C. Every time there is a hard rain that falls on this neighborhood, the streets and basements flood, and there is really no relief in sight.
Dan Kasprzyk is spending part of this Labor Day working at the kitchen table. His basement office is a mess. Again.
"The downstairs was just being fixed with drywall from the last flood and now it looks like it's going to have to be redone after we clean it up and disinfect it," said Kasprzyk. "There's got to be something done here in Bloomingdale. It's pretty tough to live."
Sunday night's thunderstorm dumped a ton of rain on this Northwest D.C. neighborhood. One driver had to be rescued from a stranded car. Other home videos posted on YouTube show just how bad the flooding has gotten here in Bloomingdale. There have been four flash flooding emergencies in the past two months.
"It seems bizarre to me. I feel that there's more investigating that should be done," said Arli Christian.
The rainstorms are overwhelming the city's 100-year-old combined water and sewer system. Raw sewage bubbled to the surface from a manhole that has lost its cover, flooding the area around Rhode Island Avenue and 1st Street with polluted water.
Christian has installed backflow preventers and sump pumps to try to keep the raw sewage out of the basement apartment she owns on Rhode Island Avenue.
"There's just so much water in the area that it's hard to block all the spots, but we're working on it," she said.
Her last tenant moved out after July's three floods.
"I think it was just a little too traumatic to have water coming into their house every week," Christian said.
Tim Clark spent the day clearing water-logged debris from the street. He works for Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who is out of town Monday.
"And we're calling on the city and the Mayor and DC Water to look at some engineering solutions that perhaps could give some immediate short-term relief to the problem," said Corey Griffin, Chief of Staff for Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has established a task force that will spend the rest of the year investigating the trouble in the neighborhood.
The city's water and sewer authority has proposed a $2 billion system-wide infrastructure re-engineering plan that would not be completed for another 13 years.
In the meantime, Councilmember McDuffie's office wants a relief fund established to help residents pay for the costly cleanup and repairs.
"I think we need far more than a relief fund," said Kasprzyk. "We need a real serious look at how to fix the structural problem and do it before 2025. In fact, do it before a couple of years from now because it's going to be too late."
With the possibility of even more thunderstorms throughout this coming week, DC Water crews were handing out free sandbags Monday afternoon at the utility's Bryant Street pumping station in Northwest D.C.