Residents hold city responsible for freak storm cleanup costs

Residents hold city responsible for freak storm cleanup costs
EVERETT, Wash. - Questions were raised when an Everett couple couldn't get a response from the city about flood damage to their home.

Last Friday, Everett got one inch of rain in 30 minutes, overwhelming parts of the city's combined stormwater and sewer system.

Raw sewage and rainwater flooded the basement apartment Erin Jewett was renting, and she says she nearly lost everything.

"I was able to go to the second hand store and get a change of clothes," Erin Jewett says.

Adjustors for the City of Everett were on scene immediately, and contracted a cleanup service who went to work that night, with the city agreeing to pay for the cleanup costs.

"The next day the adjustor said, 'I'm less confident that it will completely be taken care of.' And it's been silent since then," Jewett says.

Homeowner Chad Slayton says his finished and furnished basement rental was stripped to its studs and concrete by the cleaning crew sent by the city.

They are coming in to treat and sanitize the floors, the studs, and hopefully repair it," Slayton says.

Both Jewett and Slayton were impressed with the city's immediate cleanup response, but they haven't heard anything from the city about repairs and the loss of personal possessions.

Both have no flood insurance, but believe the costs should go to the city.

Twenty-two claims of damage were filed after the freak storm, and the city says it's trying to prioritize the claims because each is different.

"We are making those decisions case by case," Marla Carter says. "We are not doing a blanket 'yes we are paying, no we are not'."

With more thunderstorms coming, a repeat of Friday won't be good.

After KOMO Problem Solvers contacted city officials, an adjustor called the homeowners and made an appointment to discuss their next move.