FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — The City of Falls Church is updating its Watershed Management Plan after flash flooding on July 8 dumped 173 million gallons of water in a two hour period; the equivalent of 263 Olympic pools.
At a meeting Wednesday night, city officials heard from community members who experienced flooding.
“There were about 10 houses on my street,” said one community member. “We lost everything in about an hour.”
Another speaker said she’d been writing to the city since 2003 about flooding that occurs on her street. “We’ve spent over $10,000 in remediation efforts,” she said. “We’re looking at another $10,000 [after this flood].” The speaker said she’d experienced significant flooding in 2001, 2003, 2011, and this year.
City Manager Wyatt Shields says now that the 2012 Watershed Management Plan has been completed, the city plans to prioritize new stormwater projects this fall, figure out how much they’ll cost this spring, and start implementing the projects by next summer.
For now, the city is in talks with the state to request loans. “The city is working with Arlington County and Fairfax County to work with the state government to help homeowners be eligible for zero interest loans if you experienced damage,” said Shields. “We’re also working with FEMA on trying to get the president to declare this was a national emergency.”
The city is also encouraging homeowners to take their own precautions. It may be working with community members to determine where to build detention facilities, which are a series of pipes that redirect the flow of water, under parking lots and parks. Shields says a detention facility below a tennis court cost about half a million dollars.