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Manhole turns into a geyser Friday in Grosse Pointe as flooding hits again

Grosse Pointe flood.jpg
Posted at 10:55 PM, Jul 17, 2021
and last updated 2022-03-17 20:13:49-04

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A traffic-stopping geyser gushed out a manhole in Grosse Pointe Park on Friday before the same thing started happening in nearby basements.

“The water was gushing out of this," said resident Rajiv Sharma, pointing to a drain on his basement floor. "Like three or four feet.”

Sharma was at least prepared this time around. He covered up some drains with rocks, and even bought pumps to try and keep up with the incoming sewage water. However, the flood waters still came.

“All brown, was smelly," Sharma said. "Same way it was on June 26.”

That day was the last round of significant rain, when more than three feet of water filled his finished basement. That flood left behind dirt and sewage, ruined appliances and thousands of dollars in damages. Most of the drywall and carpet that was down there has been torn out.

“It’ll be quite a bit, it will hurt financially,” Sharma said. “We are reaching a stage where if there's a forecast for severe thunderstorms, we lose our sleep.”

“This isn’t my water, this is the city of Detroit's water and they need to come and get it,” said Detroit resident Chuck Brooks as he stood on the steps to his basement, now filled with a few feet of water.

Brooks' basement also flooded three weeks ago, ruining drywall and paneling he recently installed as he renovated. He is in the process of fixing up multiple properties on the block, and spent hours Saturday pumping water out of the basements.

"I'm a contractor, I'm a builder. I can rebuild, no problem hands down," Brooks said. "But what about the people it’s affecting like my neighbors who can’t rebuild? They’re dealing with this water and they have standing water in their basements right now and they don’t have the means to pump it out.”

The Great Lakes Water Authority said in a statement that their system was operating as designed, and that water levels at both the Freud and Conner Creek pumping stations remained well below the levels that would result in basement flooding.

But for homeowners in the path of those pumps now dealing with flooded basements, it doesn’t make any sense. They hope someone can explain how this happened and offer solutions, so it doesn't happen again.

“Unless they fix this, this place won't be liveable," Sharma said. "If this is the way it’s going to flood, I don't know how many of these floods we can take.”

“This is sad and sickening that we have to live like this," added Brooks. "What’s going to happen to the next storm we get? I can’t keep doing this man, it’s crazy.”