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Flood victims demand accountability from the Great Lakes Water Authority

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 18:23:46-04

(WXYZ) — Two and a half weeks after the massive flood, thousands of people are still demanding answers: did they have to flood?

They say the key people who can provide answers and is not is the CEO of the Great Lakes Water Authority Sue McCormick.

Danielle Ryan had flood damage in her basement and tells 7 Action News what she needs to hear from McCormick, “The truth. Transparency, the truth no matter how bad, because right now nobody believes her. There’s Facebook groups and nobody has anything nice to say nobody believes she has a shred of credibility.”

McCormick addressed the GLWA Board of Directors in a virtual meeting, but the Authority did not share with the media or the public the link to the Zoom connection.

7 Action News obtained the link from inside sources so we could watch it and show it to you. The media and public were only going to be allowed to listen on the telephone line.

McCormick has said a week after the flood there were power outages and 4 out of 12 pumps did not work in two critical pumping stations on the east side during the heavy rain on June 26.

Today she only added what others have been calling for an inside and outside investigation for answers.

McCormick said those answers will be coming later, a lot later telling the board on the Zoom, “We would expect these reviews to take 60 to 90 days.”

The board then went into closed session for more than two hours. The first lawsuit seeking damages has been filed.

Danielle Ryan told us in her basement, “That storm drain blew up. The toilet blew up. Up from underneath.”

Thousands of people in the Grosse Pointes and east side of Detroit documented how the flood came in through floor drains and sewers in the streets because it had nowhere else to go. One video shows water flowing into a basement staircase from the street.

After the pumps started working the water receded leaving behind massive damage.

The Ryan home is more than a hundred years old. Original fixtures are ruined.

Danielle tells us, “These houses are worth nothing. Nobody’s going to want to buy these homes. We can barely live in this. We’ve had to do mold tests. We’ve had to do asbestos tests.”

Two of the six Great Lakes Water Authority Board Members say authority management needs to be much more responsive to the people not listening on just a phone line.

Gary Brown represents the City of Detroit and said during the meeting, “They need an opportunity to be heard and to know we’re looking them in the eye and listening to them.”

Brian Baker is on the board representing Macomb County and said during the meeting, “We do have to review if the flooding could have been lessened by having all the pumps operating, right.”

As we’ve been reporting, thousands of people have hundreds of millions in damage and have found out their insurance covers very little.