February 4, 2023

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A solution for flooding in Northeast DC could take until 2023

3 min read

DC Water told the owner of District Dogs that the completion of Northeast Boundary Tunnel will provide some relief following three floods in one month

D.C., DC — DC Water says that long-term solutions to the flooding on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast are months away. 

During an onsite visit to the popular pet hotel District Dogs in Northeast, the CEO and General Manager of DC Water, David Gadis said that the Northeast Boundary Tunnel will help reduce flooding issues in the area. That project is set to be ready by March 2023.

Frustrations are rising following flooding that has damaged the pet daycare four times this year. 

Floodwaters surrounded the District Dogs Northeast location on Wednesday afternoon. Videos shared by the business owner Jacob Hensley, show up to three feet of water pinning the doors shut of the popular pet daycare center on the 600 block of Rhode Island Ave. NE. 

Accumulation of rainwater in a nearby underpass has flooded the pet hotel three times in the last month.

“It is incredibly frustrating. It was not a safe situation,” said Hensley to WUSA9 following a walk-through of the popular pet center.  Hensley says one of his employees had a medical emergency during the storm, but an ambulance was unable to get to the location to transport her to a local hospital. 

“We are doing everything I can as a business owner to protect this from happening again, but most of this is beyond my control besides closing down the business,” said Hensley. 

District Dogs has reduced staff and services. It is currently only housing approximately 20 dogs that are staying overnight.  

RELATED: Storms in NE DC damage homes, businesses

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie did a walk-through of the pet daycare this morning. “This is completely unacceptable, we need to know from DC Water, from DDOT, from the Department of Environment, from Homeland Security to know what they are doing to solve this issue,” said McDuffie. 

The Ward 5 council members say the problem was supposed to have been addressed by the D.C. Water’s Clean Rivers project.

Twenty-four hours after the flooding, Mayor Muriel Bowser and several District agencies responded to the location.

A representative from the District Department of Transportation said there was no short-term solution to stop the flooding, but other D.C. agencies would work together to try to determine a solution.

During the assessment with Bowser, DC Water’s David Gadis told the mayor that the previous building was on the 600 block of Rhode Island Ave. Northeast was 6 feet higher than the current building where District Dogs is located. 

The owner of the pet hotel says he is considering closing the business on Monday when more storms are expected to hit the District of Columbia. 

RELATED: District Dogs employees plan walkout over repeat flooding issues

WATCH NEXT: Stranded drivers call for water rescues on flooded roads

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2022-08-12 03:06:39

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