Homeowners residing on 1st Street, NW, like myself, chose to live by the river and know the risks. That is why we have flood insurance. The city’s so-called “voluntary” buyout would have forced us to take a $50,000 loss.
The 2008 flood did not begin with the river over-topping the earthen levee on the west bank, as many think. Neighborhoods were flooded through the storm and sanitary sewer systems.
During the evacuation, Ellis Boulevard, from Penn Avenue to 1st Avenue, seven blocks from my house, water was 2 feet deep, while 3rd Street NW was dry. The city’s plan wants a levee on 4th Street NW. Even with a wall, neighborhoods far from the river will still flood through the sewers, making it harder for the water to drain.
I was on the Local Option Sales Tax “Oversight Committee.” This “oversight” committee has absolutely no authority. The only thing this committee does is give a recommendation. The Committee voted down using L.O.S.T. for public facilities every time, yet the Council used it anyway.
In my opinion, the city did not use L.O.S.T. correctly. Was 90% of it used for acquisition and rehabilitation of flood-damaged housing, as sold to the voters in 2009? No.