EVERETT – Michelle Murphy still hasn’t recovered from last Thursday, when sewage and storm water flooded out her basement.
“It’s devastating, it’s just truly is devastating,” Murphy said.
“I have no furnace, i have no hot water, and all the circuit breakers were going, so there were power surges and now I don’t have a fridge.”
Most of her neighbors are in the same boat. Two doors down, cleanup crews are packing up and stripping out the basement of another house.
People living in the area have been through this before, and they’ve asked the city to separate the sewer lines from the stormwater, but nothing’s changed.
“We have a lot of sympathy for people,” said Dave Davis, the city’s public works director. “I understand that it’s just a horrendous issue.”
Davis said to separate the sewer lines around the city would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and cause utility rates to skyrocket. He suggests people with basements get a backwater valve to help keep water out. He’s also pushing a city initiative, encouraging homeowners to create rain gardens with deep-rooted plants and soil to soak up stormwater.
Patrick Cullen has battled flooded basements in the past, but says, since building rain gardens in his yard, he hasn’t had a problem.
“The water gets channeled to the rain garden, and the garden fills up,” said Cullen. “It acts as a natural filter as well for the water.”
Last week’s flood still have Murphy in a holding pattern. The damage to her basement isn’t covered under homeowners insurance and she’s still waiting to find out if the city will help cover the costs, already in the thousands.
“At this point we can’t really rebuild, we’re at a standstill,” she said.