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City of Everett says it will foot bill for flood damage

EVERETT — Weeks after floods swept through Everett, damage claims continue to pour into the city and leaders say they will pick up the tab.

“The mayor and the council felt very strongly that these are people they know and they talk with on a daily basis,” Everett spokesperson Meghan Pembroke said. “They want to make sure we do what we can to make people’s homes the way they were before these events.”

During heavy rains in late August and early September, stormwater caused sewage to back up and flood homes throughout the Everett area. So far, the city has received 81 damage claims, and the costs could run into the millions.

Damage at the Snohomish County Public Utilities building alone will cost $700,000. The large call center in the building’s basement was flooded — water even poured into the elevator shaft.

“It was crisis mode,” said facility manager Bill Butler. Stormwater and sewage covered the floors, desks and equipment in the call center and the clean up will take six more weeks.

Butler is looking into ways to fix the sewer lines connected to the building to make sure the building doesn’t flood in the future.

The city is also pledging to pay to install backwater valves in homes that were flooded to hold the sewage back during any future heavy rain storms.

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