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MSD Still Working On Backup Claims From August Storm

Ann Thompson
A Norwood School employee pressure washes cafeteria chairs after a flash flood in August, 2016 which filled the cafeteria.

Officials with the Metropolitan Sewer District are still working to process sewer backup claims from a storm last August.
MSD General Counsel Diana Christy told a Cincinnati City Council committee Monday the magnitude of that event overwhelmed the agency's resources.

"We received over 2,000 reports of backups, actually over 3,000 initially, and we have received over 1,000 claims," Christy said. "That's magnitudes beyond what we've ever received in a typical year. So we simply didn't have the staff to respond and we didn't have the staff to handle the claims once they started coming in."

That lack of staffing led to a later problem.

"Once we received the claims, often times there were no pictures, no understanding of what really happened on that property," Christy said. "We had to rely a lot on just a technical desktop evaluation of knowing what was going on on that street."

Some people have been asking questions about getting paid for claims they submitted following the storm which dumped up to six inches of rain in some parts of Cincinnati.

Residents and businesses have up to two years to file claims.

Officials must determine whether the damage was caused by a sewer backup and not flooding caused by rainfall runoff.

Two council committees will hold a joint hearing about the sewer backups on May 24.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.