September 23, 2023

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DC officials have not released timeline of deadly flood

2 min read

An investigation is underway to determine how long it took first responders to enter District Dogs where employees and pets were trapped by floodwaters

WASHINGTON — Three days after a flash flood on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast killed 10 dogs and stranded several motorists, D.C. officials have yet to provide a timeline of events detailing rescue efforts. 

For the second consecutive day, Mayor Muriel Bowser and her team were questioned about the time it took first responders to arrive at the canine care center District Dogs. 

During a public safety meeting Thursday morning, City Administrator Kevin Donahue confirmed that the first DC Fire and EMS crew on the scene self-dispatched to save the stranded motorists trapped by the six-foot floodwaters. 

Donahue told reporters he has reviewed the calls, but did not detail how long it took from the time the 911 calls were made, to the time D.C. Fire and EMS entered the building.

At least three different people made calls to 911 regarding the situation at District Dogs according to the City Administrator. He said that the calls were made between 5:06 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. and that two of the calls were from outside the jurisdiction.

Donahue says the last call came from inside District Dogs. When asked if the calls conveyed a sense of emergency he responded, “The call at 5:18 was clear. The other two calls talked about flooding inside the building.”

Audio from a dispatch call describes what was happening inside the business as a “water leak.”

On Tuesday, Councilmember Zachary Parker announced that his office was investigating D.C’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC) about a possible delayed response that cost rescuers valuable time. 

“15 minutes from the time that employees from District Dogs were calling into 911 until authorities were officially dispatched,” he told reporters. 

OUC has not responded to WUSA9’s several requests regarding the timeline of events and whether there in fact was a 15-minute delay.

The City Administrator says an investigation is underway and that a transcript of the calls will be made public. Donahue says that due to the severity of the tragedy, he thought an in-depth write-out with timestamps would be appropriate. 

Mayor Bowser’s administration has not been clear about when they plan to release the transcript or the timeline. 

WATCH NEXT: Dog owner heartbroken after dog drowns in flash flood at ‘District Dogs’ in DC

District officials have launched an investigation into a Northeast flood that killed several dogs inside a canine care center on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast.

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2023-08-17 23:22:07

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