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Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 04/19/2011

Businesses get first glimpse of Washington Harbour flood damage


Water is pumped from a parking garage at Washington Harbour. (By Justin Jouvenal/The Washington Post)
As pumps whirred and sucked brown water from Georgetown’s Washington Harbour complex Tuesday, some restaurant and shop owners got a first glimpse of the damage down by a flood there a day earlier.

“It’s muddy. It’s dirty and everything has moved around. There was five feet of water in there for awhile,” said Dan Simons, a managing partner at Farmers & Fishers restaurant.
Simons couldn’t put a dollar figure on the damage done to his eatery or say when he might reopen. But he was determined to start serving meals again.

The uncertainty also lingered over Washington Harbour, which remained closed and in the dark after 10 to 12 feet of water gushed into ground-level businesses, basements and a parking garage.

Property managers gave no indication of how long the cleanup might take, but said “significant progress” had been made Tuesday afternoon. Water had been pumped from a swamped plaza, an electric room and the upper level of a flooded parking garage, according to a statement from MRP Real Estate Services and a separate e-mail it sent to tenants. The lower level of the parking garage remains closed. MRP said it had 100 workers on site assisting with the cleanup.

Some tenants questioned why the flooding occurred in the first place, since Washington Harbour has floodwalls that are normally raised during storms.

“It’s a shame the floodgates weren’t up. They work perfectly when they go up in time,” said Marty Nover, who said he has worked in the Washington Harbour complex for 17 years.


An MRP media representative declined to discuss the floodwall issue. Pete Piringer, spokesman for the D.C. fire and rescue department, said Monday that the fire department was “quite surprised” that the flood walls were not up when crews arrived.

“I think the wall being up would have prevented this from happening,” he said.

By  |  05:05 PM ET, 04/19/2011

 
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