City of Everett preps for storm with 'Let it Rain' program

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 7:05 PM

Urban flooding concerns prompts the City of Everett to take action with a new program called “Let it Rain.”

The green initiative introduced at a council meeting Wednesday night is designed to help alleviate problems with overflowing sewage systems during heavy rain.

Up to 1.5 inches fell on parts of the city in an hour last week, backing up sewers, flooding homes and causing big damage.

“Every drop we can get out of our sewer system we’re better off,” said Marla Carter, public works manager.

The $250,000 program includes the addition of “Rain Gardens” to reduce run off.  They soak up and filter polluted water using a shallow depression in people’s yards.

According to the city, seven homes have piloted the project and haven’t experienced flooding since installing the rain gardens.

But residents call for a permanent solution.

“We need this to get fixed,” said Shelley Weyer, whose home flooded last week. After thousands of dollars in damage, the family is packing up belongings from inside the house and storing them in the garage in anticipation of this week’s upcoming storm.

“We’re in a convergence zone and more of it happens but this waiting and waiting is ridiculous,” said Weyer.

Brown water came up through toilets and sinks and flooded the street six inches. After a freak storm damaged nearly 50 homes in the area in 2010, the Weyers wonder why there are still no significant infrastructure changes.

“After three years of no digging and not taking care of the problem is a problem in itself,” said Greg Weyer.

The 2010 storm resulted in nearly a million dollars in damage claims to the city, which came out of its utility fund.

There are 20 so far from last week’s storm.

With no permanent solution so far, residents fear more damage will increase everyone’s utility bills.

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