While residents of the City of Falls Church begin clean-up from Thursday’s heavy rains, the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch until 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. There is no interruption in City services, including the Mary Riley Styles Library and the Community Center. The Sunset Cinema scheduled for Friday is cancelled; it will not be rescheduled. All other events on Friday and Saturday will take place as scheduled.
Many residents have reported flooded basements in the City. In addition, the City offers the following tips and advice for dealing with flooded basements:
Tips on Handling Water in Your Basement
If there is standing water in your basement, do not walk through it, due the risk of electrical shock.
Unplug appliances if they’re threatened by rising water. Pay special attention to washers and dryers, which have motors located in the bottom of the appliance.
If the water level rises high enough to threaten the electrical panel, turn off power to the building.
Sewage Backup in the Home
Flooding may cause wastewater to back up into homes. Sewage contains disease-causing microorganisms. Take proper precautions and follow basic hygiene practices in this case.
If you believe you have experienced a sanitary sewer back up, please inform the City Public Utilities Customer Services at 703-248-5071 during business hours or 703-248-5044 for after hours emergencies.
Choose a qualified contractor, such as Service Master Clean (703-941-4895) or ServPro (703-237-8800) to assist you with clean-up.
Please do not place materials on the curb for pick up if they have been affected by a sanitary sewer backup; have your contractor handle and dispose of materials safely.
The excess trash fee (stickers) will be waived for the collection dates of September 14 and 21. It will not be necessary to place stickers on excess bagged trash for those two pick up dates.
For large items, please call the City Public Works Department at 703-248-5160 to arrange a special pick-up. The normal fee of $75 per cubic yard will be charged for special pick-ups.
Other Tips for Restoring Your Home
See tips on the FEMA web page, at http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/index.shtm.
If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to find out if you are eligible to file a claim under your homeowners policy. Most normal homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage unless you have flood insurance.
Federal disaster aid for flood victims is only available in a presidentially declared disaster. No such declaration has been made for our region.
If you have concerns about the structural safety of your home due to any storm damage, be safe and contact the City’s Building Inspector at 703-248-5080.
If flooding has reached electrical outlets or your electrical panel, keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.