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Huntington Residents Spared Flooding, Calls For Floodwall No Less Urgent

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Flooding in 2011 required weeks of cleanup — an experience Huntington residents are not eager to repeat.
Jonathan Wilson
Flooding in 2011 required weeks of cleanup — an experience Huntington residents are not eager to repeat.

Residents in the Huntington neighborhood of Fairfax County dodged a bullet with Wednesday's storm, avoiding any of the major scale flooding that has plagued the area for years. Even so, Huntington neighbors say they are not pleased.

Everyone in the Huntington neighborhood has a story about flooding. Fish swimming along the sidewalk. Cars washed down the street. Raw sewage. Mold. Mildew. Repair bills. Dana Hoekestra moved to the neighborhood a few weeks before the flood of 2009. And then came the flood of 2011.

"I had to evacuate when I was seven months pregnant last time, and you know had to walk like three or four blocks uphill to get to a car that could take me somewhere because my husband wasn't here," Hoekestra says.

Last November, voters approved a $30 million bond initiative to construct a flood wall in this neighborhood, which is near the border with Alexandria.

Resident Titus Boyd says that's not enough. He would like to see compensation from the government toward removing the mold in his house and making renovations to his basement.

"That $30 million doesn't have anything to do with what it costs us to get back into our house," Boyd says. "Give us that first."

Many neighbors suspect that Fairfax County let problems fester in Huntington because it's a working class neighborhood. Randy Huggins has lived here since 1985.

"If this was happening across the bridge in Old Town Alexandria, Reston, Herndon, Belle Haven, that would have been fixed immediately," Huggins says.

County officials say construction of the flood wall is at least two years away.

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