Backyard of Home Just North of John Street After Rain Storm
I will not rehash the entire article, but about 12 homes in Madison Valley settled with the City of Seattle for $2.5 million for flood damage. You can click the link and read the article on the Seattle Times for more details, but as most Madrona residents know the area around 30th and John often floods in heavy rains. The block just north of John Street between 30th and 31st Avenue has the most issues since their backyards are very low and collect a lot of water.
The City has spent about $3 million buying the homes north of John and east of 30th to build a park that is also used to collect water during heavy rain storms.
The City is expected to spend about $27 million to build stormwater pipes that drain into a huge stormwater storage tank in the southwest corner of Washington Park (by the soccer field).
I know it is politically incorrect and too late, but I think the City should have bought the 19 homes north of John between 30th and 31st (or possibly just half of the homes – the ones closest to John) and built a similar park as they did across the street rather than take on the stormwater pipe project. But maybe not, since it would have cost an average of at least $500,000 to buy each home ($9,500,000), then tearing down the homes and building a park (say $5,000,000), so about $15,000,000 as compared to $30,000,000 ($27 million for storm drains and $2.5 million for settlement). But in doing so you would have to displace long time residents and I am not sure it would have solved the entire area’s stormwater issues. I know they looked into this option before deciding on what they did.
In short, the settlement seems fair from a bird’s eye view: 12 residences getting $2.5 million for extensive flood damage. But if further shows how ridiculous it is that the City of Seattle settled just under $1,000,000 for damages to a single Leschi home.