With yesterday afternoon’s severe weather and heavy rains, many Borderstan residents and business owners were preparing for potential flooding. Previous problems have been in the U Street NW corridor and Florida Avenue NW area.
This summer’s notorious thunderstorms and derechos have impacted several DC neighborhoods, most notably, Bloomingdale (an area of Northwest DC that borders Florida Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and Howard University). In early September, NBC Washington reported flooded basements, submerged cars and even the rescue of a man trapped in his car due to rising water on Rhode Island Avenue NW.
The flooding incidents in Bloomingdale eventually sparked local political action. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie requested a relief fund for victims, while Mayor Vincent Gray established a task force to find a solution for the flooding in the neighborhood.
But this summer’s floods were not just limited to Bloomingdale; residents in the Borderstan area experienced similar damage.
According to one local resident who lives in the Rhapsody (at Vermont and Florida Avenues NW), the ground floor of his building flooded twice this summer, most recently over Labor Day weekend. A second resident in the same building confirmed damage from Labor Day weekend’s storm in the ground level, the parking level and the entrance and lobby.
The damage caused by the floods to the Rhapsody building required water extraction and cleanup. Additionally, the carpets and the floors on the ground level need to be replaced (something the building is still in the process of doing). Two other buildings in the area, including the Floridian and the Beauregard (at 11th and V Streets NW) also had flooding problems this summer.
In response to a phone call yesterday, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham says he is doing various things in response to the area’s floods, including an engineering inspection at the Rhapsody after the last storm.
“Just today I’ve been on the phone with the General Manager of DC Water, and he has agreed to sandbag both buildings [the Rhapsody and the Floridian],” confirmed Graham. “We’re trying to take immediate action, but we’ve also got to have the results of these engineering studies so that we know where to go from there.”