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Fairfax Voters To Determine Fate Of Floodwall

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Residents of Cameron Run say Fairfax County should build a flood wall to help prevent the neighborhood's frequent deluges.
Michael Pope
  Residents of Cameron Run say Fairfax County should build a flood wall to help prevent the neighborhood's frequent deluges.  

Everyone in the neighborhood along Cameron Run in Fairfax County has a story. Cars washed down the street as if they are toys. A pregnant woman rescued from the basement. Fish swimming along the sidewalk. Raw sewage. Mold. Mildew. Repair bills, and more repair bills.

"This place was a mess, man," says resident Everald Harrison. "We lose everything." He says that many of his neighbors are still making repairs from last year's devastating flood.

But help may finally be on the way. This November, voters across Fairfax County will be considering a $30 million bond initiative for "storm drainage improvement." The ballot doesn't mention Huntington, but that's where the money is likely to go.

"We obviously replaced everything," Harrison says. "The electricity in the basement, the air conditioning ... everything. It wasn't easy. And then last year, it happened again."

Neighbors here say the first big flood was in 2003. Then it happened again in 2006. That's when the Army Corps of Engineers recommended building a floodwall, but county officials didn't take action. Then, last year, another massive flood washed through this neighborhood south of the Huntington Metro station.

"I don't see where they've done a heck of a lot," says another resident, Betty Warrick, as she's chatting with her son on her front porch. She says she's disappointed.

Warrick's lived in the neighborhood since 1968, and she says things have never been worse. Timothy Warrick, her son, says the county hasn't taken action yet because the blue-collar neighborhood is seen as expendable.

"What they want to do is force people out of here so they can rebuild this place up and make condominiums, and they get all the profits off this prime stock real-estate," he says.

That's a feeling shared by many of his neighbors, who are now trying to encourage voters throughout the county to approve the bond initiative.

Michael Pope is also a reporter with the Connection Newspapers who provides special coverage of Northern Virginia for WAMU 88.5. His coverage for the Connection can be found at ArlingtonConnection.com.  


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