Six months after Deborah Wiggins bought her home near D.C.’s northeast border, she found herself watching as three feet of water rose in her yard, seeping into her basement. During the deluge of rain that hit the region on Sept. 10, 2020, flash floods across the Northeast stranded cars and damaged homes.
“I watched the water swirl into my yard,” Wiggins recalled. “The water came up the steps onto my porch. It came into the house, and filled my house quickly.”
Not sure what else to do, Wiggins at first tried putting a towel down on the basement floor. Her 8-year-old granddaughter was visiting that afternoon, as was Wiggins’ best friend. Neither could return home for hours; no one could get through the flooded roads.
“The towel was floating around, and the floor was coming up, and it was crazy,” she said. “My granddaughter was crying; she was upset. We put her on the sofa. She was fine, but it was just water everywhere.”