South Park homeowners get more help from city after recent flooding
The City of Seattle has brought in more resources to help South Park homeowners after their houses were flooded with feet of water.
Team Rubicon, a group of volunteers led by military veterans, was hired to help clean houses of debris ahead of any substantial repairs to things like drywall and insulation. Volunteers donned full-body sanitary suits, measured water damage, and removed damaged furniture and carpets.
“The work that’s being done is called ‘mucking’ out or ‘mucking guts,'” said Don Beeson with Team Rubicon. “It’s when we repair issues caused by a flood, water, or storm surge that has damaged personal items or drywall inside of the home.”
Over the weekend, the volunteer teams will be working alongside personnel from the city’s Office of Emergency Management.
A storm surge combined with the king tides flooded a number of areas around Puget Sound, but scenes from the South Park neighborhood showed streets underwater.
Although the city has pointed the finger at climate change for rising sea levels and more rain, Seattle Public Utilities said they have provided housing assistance to 15 families. In addition, affected residents, landlords, and businesses can apply to the city for reimbursement for the flood damage.
“The flooding event on December 27 and 28 was unprecedented as a king tide, a low-pressure system, recent heavy rains, and snowmelt occurred at the same time. That said, we have a team that is focused on weather readiness and response,” said Sabrina Register with SPU. “They are in close contact with the National Weather Service to monitor forecasts. SPU is currently discussing mitigation strategies like sandbagging and temporary berms (barriers) that we can implement if necessary.”
The city has been working on a pump station for the neighborhood and more drainage systems, although the improvements aren’t expected to be completed until next year.
With more king tides on the way before the end of January, residents are still struggling to repair the damage that’s already been done.