From a press release:
Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that he was establishing a flood prevention task force that will study the causes of, and short- and medium-term solutions to, frequent street flooding and sewer backups in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods. In early July the area was inundated with flood waters three times, resulting in damage to dozens of homes and businesses.
“Residents of the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods deserve to enjoy a high quality of life and should not have to bear a disproportionately negative impact because of an aging infrastructure,” Mayor Gray said. “Just as I have done in asking a task force to look at solutions to frequent power outages, I am now asking officials, utility representatives and residents to work together to address the flooding and sewer back up issues that happen all too often in these neighborhoods While D.C. Water has already been working on long-term solutions, this panel will help us bring about short- and medium-term mitigation strategies.”
The task force will be co-chaired by City Administrator Allen Y. Lew and D.C. Water General Manager George Hawkins. The panel will investigate the causes of flooding in the affected areas and work to develop actions that may be taken by D.C. Water, other District agencies and residents to reduce the likelihood or severity of flooding and its consequences.
“As a member of the D.C. Water Board, I am acutely aware of the impact of the floods on the community. The task force will monitor the interim steps taken by D.C. Water to prevent or mitigate the flooding problems in the short term,” said Lew. “DC Water has already initiated closed-circuit inspections of sewers and, along with the Department of Public Works, is distributing sandbags for any impacted residents who want them. I look forward to working with the Task Force to examine these issues and to develop possible long-term solutions.”
The task force will transmit a written report to the Mayor no later than December 31, 2012. The task force will also estimate the costs to implement the necessary remedial measures and the time periods within which those actions may be implemented.
The task force will include four members drawn from residents of the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park communities. Mayor Gray has appointed one resident to the panel from each neighborhood, and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham – whose wards include the affected area – will each appoint one additional representative to the panel.
Other members of the task force include: Councilmembers McDuffie and Graham; District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy; District Department of the Environment Director Christophe Tulou; Department of Public Works Director William Howland; D.C. Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Geldart; Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs Director Nicholas Majett; D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. Saul Levin; and Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking Director William White.