By Micha Green, AFRO D.C. Editor and
Mark Gray, AFRO Staff Writer
Downpours of rain drenched the nation’s capital on Sept. 10, causing major flooding and damage in the D.M.V.
“Our basement was quickly inundated with two and a half inches of brown, muddy, water that covered most of the floor. The water was so intense that our sump pump was overwhelmed by the amount of water and sewage coming up from the shower floor,” said the Rev. Canon Paula Clark, who lives in Prince George’s County, a block away from the Northeast, D.C. line.
Maryland Del. Julian Ivey (D-47th District) is calling on Gov. Hogan to address the challenges that homeowners in the County face after last week’s torrential storms that caused catastrophic damage in Prince George’s County on Sept. 10. During the late afternoon and evening violent thunderstorms ripped through the County leaving communities submerged and residents needing help from state and federal authorities as many continue trying to navigate through the pandemic while dealing with unemployment benefits, which have run out.
“This flood has devastated families and homes in Prince George’s County, and Prince George’s families are in dire need of relief,” Ivey wrote in a letter to Hogan on Sept. 14. “This event only compounded the desperation that many of these families were already feeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While waiting for legislative action, local officials such as Mount Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles, are offering advice to residents.
“Residents this was a swift and dangerous rain. I have not heard of any residents being injured and that is a blessing. Public Works got flooded, some City cars and other equipment [were] damaged and the new levee was almost breached, but it held. I am grateful that all of you are safe! Please report any losses to your insurance companies. Also document with pictures. That will make your claims easier. If you can, find any receipts that you may have. If you owe on your car, notify your bank, credit union, or whoever is your lender ASAP,” Miles wrote on Facebook.
“If you have flood insurance, reach out to your carrier immediately to be ahead of the rush that is sure to come. Check on your neighbors. They may need help. I am not sure of the status of the CERT Team, but I have asked the Interim City Manager, Latasha Gatling to activate the CERT Team to help where needed,” she added.
Mayor Miles also added that there was no recycling the following day in Mount Rainier due to the disaster conditions at Public Works.
According to WTOP, Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Spokesperson Jennifer Donelan said the Department received over 250 calls for service, 134 of those were water related, and one person needed transporting.
Some residents were caught in high standing water and parts of other major roads, such as U.S. Route 50, were flooded and impassable hours after the rain had stopped, leading to dramatic rescues.
In addition to fighting for homeowner’s relief, Ivey also said that such storms should heighten the urgency of addressing climate change.
“These historic floods have become more and more common — climate change must be addressed with the urgency that these photos demand! Today’s flood literally shutdown route 50! Please stay safe,” Del. Ivey posted on Twitter attached with photos of the damage the storm caused.