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West Baltimore residents without hot water, gas following last week's storm

West Baltimore residents without hot water, gas following last week's storm
West Baltimore residents without hot water, gas following last week's storm 02:28

BALTIMORE -- West Baltimore residents are still struggling to recover after a line of strong storms swept through the city, knocking down trees and leaving thousands of people without power.

The downpour flooded the streets and wreaked havoc in the 2700 block of Baker Street. There was so much water that it even dislodged cars.

"I thought someone was breaking in the house," Coppin Heights resident Donnell Green said.

Green had been sleeping upstairs in his home as water filled his basement.

"I'm blessed that that night I didn't fall asleep down there on the futon in my office, because if that water came breaking through the back door the way that it did, I could have been asleep and it could have rushed over me," Green said. "Life could have been lost."

Across the street, his neighbor, India, was sleeping in her basement until she felt a tap on her shoulder.

"I felt like maybe it was God waking me up," India said. "I was knocked out of sleep."

India woke up as her room and the rest of the basement was being flooded.

"I didn't think I was going to make it," she said. "If my mother didn't run down the stairs, I probably would have drowned."

One week after that slew of powerful storms and residents in West Baltimore are still looking for answers.

The water damage has left some residents in a lurch. They say they haven't had hot water or gas in their homes for about a week.

Patricia Washington's parents saw their basement flooded. They have been unable to get any assistance from insurance, the city, or FEMA.

"She's not getting any help," Washington said. " She feels as if though she's paying insurance and taxes, and if it's no fault of her own, why can't someone come out and give her a good concrete answer."

Most of the people who spoke to WJZ said they believe the city is to blame for the extensive damage that impacted multiple homes in the area.

Residents say trash blocked the drains, which led to water filling the streets.

"I've been all through Baltimore, and I see different communities that have trash cans out, but we don't have any of that stuff around here," Geren said. "The streets get cleaned, but if you look at the pictures of the trash, that could have been avoided by having additional resources available to the community."

WJZ reached out to the Department of Public Works for comment and received this statement:

"Thank you for sharing concerns from residents in the 2700 block of Baker Street following last week's heavy rain event. In response to these residents' concerns, DPW's Utility Maintenance Division will inspect the storm drains in the area and conduct a closed-circuit video inspection of the sewer line serving this block. The heavy and sudden rain that swept through the city last Tuesday challenged the drainage system's ability to move water. When faced with expected heavy rains, DPW crews take proactive actions to clear storm drains, and we urge residents to call 311 to report storm drains that need cleaning. In addition, following a heavy rain event, residents are urged to call 311immediately when experiencing a building backup of sewage. To assist residents impacted by sewage damage caused by capacity-related wet weather events, DPW offers the Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program, which provides professional cleaning, disinfection, and disposal services from a third-party vendor at no cost to Baltimore City residents."  

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