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Crews to install backwater valves in affected homes

Sept. 12, 2013

Contact: Meghan Pembroke, public information director, 425-257-8687

Marla Carter, public works public information manager, 425-257-8875

EVERETT – Mayor Ray Stephanson and the Everett City Council announced Wednesday, Sept. 11, that the city will resolve all reasonable claims related to recent heavy rain storms. Many Everett homes and businesses were flooded during two heavy rain storms on Aug. 29 and Sept. 6.

“Our sympathies are with all of our neighbors who are dealing with this hardship,” said Stephanson. “We are committed to working as quickly as we can.”

Claim forms are available online or by calling 425-257-8610. The city has received 45 claims so far and has investigated 37 sites affected by the heavy rains. Property owners who experienced sewer backups should file claims as soon as possible, even if the value of the damages is not yet determined.

“Our staff is looking into every claim to assess the damage and investigate the cause of the backup,” said Dave Davis, public works director. City staff will share parameters for the claim settlement program in a resolution to be considered by city council at the Sept. 18 meeting.

The city recommends that homes and businesses affected by flooding be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by a professional cleaning company. Property owners who choose to clean their own homes can follow instructions offered by the Washington State Department of Health.

Backwater valve program
Public Works staff will also work with affected property owners to determine whether a backwater valve or other improvements would help prevent future flooding. In some cases, property owners may be required to install a backwater valve as a condition of their claims settlement; valves will be installed at the city’s expense.

Backwater valves are designed to automatically stop the flow of water into basements when a sewer is overwhelmed by very heavy rain.

City staff will also evaluate all properties within the city’s current Sewer System “M” Improvements project limits (roughly Colby Avenue to Grand Avenue and 10th Street to 17th Street) to determine whether a backwater valve would be appropriate. Property owners outside of the project area can also contact the Public Works department to request that their home be evaluated for a backwater valve

Additional resources
• Snohomish Health District – Emergency Flood Sanitation:
www.snohd.org/Shd_EH/Resources/EmergencyFloodSanitation.pdf
• Claim form: www.everettwa.org/Get_PDF.aspx?pdfID=6023
• Washington State Department of Health – Cleaning a basement: www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/EmergencyPreparednessandResponse/Factsheets/FloodsCleaningaBasement.aspx.
• Sewer System “M” Improvements project:
www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=900

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