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Class-action lawsuit alleges gross negligence caused June flooding

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 17:28:22-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of people who live in Wayne County and had massive flooding after the heavy rain on June 26. The Great Lakes Water Authority, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, and the City of Detroit are named as defendants.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller today tells 7 Action News, “everything that happened that day was not an act of God. There was incompetency and mismanagement on the part of the Great Lakes Water Authority.”

Half of the 16 pumps were not working in two GLWA pump houses on June 26 causing massive basement and street flooding on the east side of Wayne County. Another pump station was out during the second heavy rain last Friday.

Combined storm and sanitary sewers run throughout Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb and during heavy rainwater flows through drains, sewers into the Clinton River and into Lake St. Clair on the east side. The water can be runoff from land, with chemicals and even untreated raw sewage.

The fix would be billions and take years to complete.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel tells 7 Action News, “we’re working with the locals to try to make a determination what would the cost be for a total sewer separation in the entire county. Nobody knows that number yet.”

One of the confirmed events that happened with the GLWA during the June 26 event, some pump station workers could not get in through locked gates.

Miller said that wouldn’t happen at her pump house saying, “They would have run the truck through the gate to get to the pumps. Make the pumps happen.”

An independent investigation into the GLWA will take 60 to 90 days to complete.