Tenants who lost possessions in storage flood blame Tacoma project

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:20 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tenants of a Tacoma storage facility plan to seek legal action against the city after their possessions were left covered in mud and mold.

On September 28, four inches of rain pounded the city in two days, flooding 65 units of The Storage Box.

“99% of it is gone,” said Ron Simchen, who had eight units flooded.

With more than 100,000 books, complete collections of old magazines and other one of a kind collectables, Simchen estimates his loses at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“How do you replace newspapers from the 1940s and 1950s?” said Simchen, who planned to use the items to pay for his retirement.

Don and Laura Zachow had 28 years worth of belongings destroyed. They estimate a loss of $50,000.

“There’s been many tears flowed down here, some happy ones for finding things that we thought we would never see again and some things that you can never ever replace,” said Laura Zachow.

Both Simchen and the Zachows blame the City of Tacoma and Sound Transit.

“When Sound Transit put the rail through, they had to dig a hole in Pacific Avenue at 26th Street because they can only have a certain grade. They disturbed the ground so it won’t absorb the water anymore,” said Don Zachow.

They also claim new construction actually pushed water towards the storage facility.

“They built this fancy metal here on the fence, that’s like making a dam in the place. Where’s the water going to go?” said Simchen.

While both plan to file claims with the city, only the owner of The Storage Box has so far. According to a city spokesperson, public works and environmental services crews are investigating the area to assess the damage and determine who’s at fault.

Simchen is hoping for compensation after a hit to his retirement he wasn’t ready for.

“Throw them away and start all over again,” said Simchen.

According to Sound Transit, no claims have been filed against it. A spokesperson says there’s no evidence its Tacoma project caused the flooding.
 

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