Repairs to Bloomingdale flooding problems upset neighbors

Photo: Sam Ford

In D.C.'s Bloomingdale neighborhood, neighbors have faced a chronic flooding problem for years. Now, as the city is trying to fix the problem with an improved drainage system, they're upsetting other residents nearby.

A massive effort is underway to rectify the problem where heavy rains often lead to major flooding. Big rigs suddenly crowd the streets of Bloomingdale. They arrived a few days ago, but already some residents are tired of them.

"It's noisy and it's a little upsetting because we have this constant, constant noise," says Sonya Hill who lives nearby.

"Effectively they're closing Flagler and Adams for three years. Not one month, not two months, three years," says Emilio Rouca, a neighbor.

Some residents believe the long term construction project will make life difficult to unbearable.

"There's elderly residents along Flagler," Rouca says. "If there is an emergency, how are EMTs going to go down there if it's closed."

Some say the city should have gotten more input from residents and provided more information about its plan.

They say it's like they're pitting the north against the south.

One factor creating some tension in Bloomingdale is that few residents where much of the work is underway ever get flooding.

Chronic flood victim Chris Bowlding says the work must be done and his neighbors to the north should tough it out.