Detroiters in low lying areas worried as flood watch goes into effect

People urged to clear their basement as early as possible, says GLWA & DWSD
Posted at 7:32 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 19:50:06-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A flood, wind, and snow watch has been issued for much of southeast Michigan, including the metro Detroit area.

This is a major concern for many people as previous floods, especially in low-lying areas, have left folks with thousands of dollars worth of damage.

7 Action News reporter, Faraz Javed spoke to the community about how they are preparing for a potential disaster.

"Last summer when the floodwaters came up, it actually pushed this anchor dam into our property knocked a boat off," said Brian Owens, a developer, and real-ester investor.

And that’s just one of the many things damaged on Brian Owens property, who has been trying to build a fishing marina since 2019, but 3 major floods have delayed the construction process.

"Whenever you hear about flooding in this neighborhood your heart sinks, not just what it might do to your business, but we are surrounded by neighbors, their basement floods and they are putting things on the curb," said Brian Owens, a developer, and real-estate investor.

As for precaution against floods, Brian says there is not much he can do.

"It's either going to breach the tiger dams or the existing sea walls... or it's not, and there's not much you can do about it," said Brian Owens, a developer, and real-estater investor.

Brian pointed me to this collapsed section of the tiger dam, which got damaged from the last flooding and this is a concern for him as no one has come to repair it.

"One vulnerable location can cause some serious damage," said Brian Owens, a developer, and real-estate investor.

This was concerning. So, I reached out to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and spoke to the director, Gary Brown about the situation.

"I’ve notified the general services division, and so I will make that notification and see that particular location, if not if maybe sandbags can be put in place to mitigate any flooding that comes from the canal," said Gary Brown, Director, Detroit Water, and Sewage Department.

That’s one problem solved. As for the community at large, Garys say the biggest problem is that the ground is frozen and this won't let the rain seep into the earth and that’s why teams have been deployed to monitor the situation round the clock.

"Each one of our pump stations will have people there to react if machines have to be turned on manually. and then we are going to be watching the calls for service to our emergency hotline," said Gary Brown, Director, Detroit Water, and Sewage Department.

Joseph Kaled owns a home in the area and he says the ongoing situation with floods is frustrating.

"Very concerned, it was all the way up to this driveway right here this last June 2016 something," Joseph Kaled, the homeowner.

Joseph Kaled has been living in the neighborhood for 11 years. And he took a huge financial hit when his basement was under 3 feet of water destroying his washer, dryer, and boiler.

That's why Gary is advising people to clear out their basement as early as possible.

Meanwhile, Detroit residents can also apply for the 'Basement Backup Program' where the city will pay up to $6,000 to install backwater valves and pumps at homes in low-lying areas.,sewer%20rate%20dollars%20are%20used.