WASHINGTON, D.C. (DC NEWS NOW) — A D.C. business owner is calling on District officials for help as he –quite literally — tries to stay afloat.
Jacob Hensley, owner of District Dogs, says repeated storms that cause extreme flooding are making that very difficult. Hensley shared video and photos to his Twitter account after Monday’s thunderstorms led to massive flooding under the bridge on Rhode Island Ave. NE near the District Dogs northeast location.
“We are still working on a costly cleanup. Rain is in the forecast again this week. We need some city help here,” wrote Hensley next to a photo video of fans drying the inside of the store.
The District Dogs owner called on District officials like DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Public Works, asking what will be done to prevent flooding in the future.
Hensley says his team has to clean up the flooded store every time it rains, and the clean up is costly.
“It’s all about damage control. We have about twelve squeegees, and anyone that has two arms will start cleaning,” says Hensley. “It’s going to be costly, maybe about $10,000 or so. I don’t know what to do. My staff are frustrated and my clients are getting concerned.”
DC News Now received a statement from DC Water, who says they are aware of the issue.
“That area has experienced chronic flooding, as far back as the late 1800’s, especially during intense rainstorms. Weather data shows small, geographically isolated thunder cells dumped anywhere from a ½ inch to 1½ inches – depending on the location – in about 30 minutes Friday afternoon,” said a spokesperson from DC water.
DC Water says a new tunnel system in the works will help offset the flooding in the future.
“That amount of intense rainfall can overwhelm the existing sewer system and that is why DC Water is building the Northeast Boundary Tunnel, which runs directly under Rhode Island Avenue. The tunnel will add 90 million gallons of storage for stormwater when it is completed in March 2023.”
The DC Flood Task Force is also asking for community input on their action plans to make the District more “flood resilient.” They say they are nearing the end of the planning phase.