Tacoma man loses valuable collectibles in storage unit flood

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 29 at 10:18 PM

Heavy weekend rain pounded parts of Tacoma, flooding streets and businesses, including “The Storage Company,” forcing it to close.

“It’s supposed to be a warm dry storage, it’s not warm and it’s not dry anymore,” said Ron Simchen, who came by to survey the damage.

More than a half inch of rain fell in less than a half hour Saturday, flooding the basement of the storage facility.  Simchen, 67, rents 8 out of the 65 units on property. 

“I’m still numb, you don’t expect to lose everything,” said Simchen.

Between more than 100,000 books, a complete collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to 1909 and collectable toys and dolls, Simchen expects to take a huge hit.

“You’re looking at half a million dollars not even batting an eye,” he said.

“This is the worst I’ve seen,” said Mike Blake, a Tacoma Environmental Services worker.

City crews are working 12-hour days and around the clock to prevent further flooding.

“That water had nowhere to go. It blew manhole lids and catch basin lids all over town,” said Blake.

At the storage facility, several workers spent the day building a wall of dirt to direct water away from it and into a sewer line.

“It’s not the owner’s fault, it’s just the fact that the city doesn’t have a decent drainage system,” said Simchen.

Crews began pumping water from the flooded storage company Sunday afternoon. Customers estimate it will take up to a week until they’re able to get into their storage units to see how much they’ve lost.

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