Everett to pay for homes damaged by sewage backup during storms

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EVERETT, Wash. —

Sudden storms caused sewage to back up into dozens of homes in Everett, and now dozens of claims are pouring into the city.

So far, 45 claims have come into the city so far, and the mayor has promised to help everyone with the problem.

It's mainly an issue with combined sewer and storm water systems in older parts of the city.

Michelle Murphy was one of the homeowners faced with damaged appliances and a flooded basement.

 Thirteen of the homes were apparently flooded twice -- once from the August 26 storm, and once from September 6. The city has also offered backwater valves for these homes as a temporary solution. They're supposed to keep the fluids running in one direction. Murphy said she just wants the city to take responsibility.

 “If I have to install something to prevent this from happening in the future because of their design, then my expectation is that they'll also maintain that for me,” said Murphy.

 The city is planning to pay out these claims. They would need to pay for professional cleaning and disinfecting in all of the damaged homes. If it's anything like the damage caused by a big storm three years ago, it could run upwards of $1 million.

 The city announced it has already investigated 37 affected sites.

 Officials encourage those who need to file a claim should do so as soon as possible.