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Flooding gives way to a class-action lawsuit

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 17:33:03-04

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — As thousands are still cleaning up from the weekend flooding, Attorney Paul Doherty says he has the goods to file a lawsuit to get paid for millions in damages.

“This storm was not a surprise. It’s not the storm of the century as they like to tell us,” he says.

Doherty lives in Grosse Pointe Park and has his own damage. The rain that fell early Saturday morning did not go down storm drains in the street. It went into basements. The water completely filled his basement up to the ceiling.

Doherty showed us how Grosse Pointe Park Police sent out an alert to residents Saturday morning that said, “Around 1AM GLWA at Conner Creek Pump Station in Detroit had failed causing major flooding in Grosse Pointe Par and the neighboring Grosse Pointes.”

That facility is on Detroit’s east side between Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit River.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller went public with her concerns by posting a video on YouTube asking why the pump station failed.

Haley and Marco Bonafede live in Grosse Pointe Park. They lost everything in their basement. They have no kids. They lost their furry child, Poncho the cat.

Haley told us, “I don’t know if he drowned or there’s outlets down there so he…” then Marco spoke up to say, “Sad, it’s very difficult to think about how this defenseless animal must have gone.”

There’s a 45-day window to file the lawsuit. It could become a class action for thousands of people to collect on the east side of Metro Detroit.

The Great Lakes Water Authority provided us this statement:

It is not uncommon for unanticipated operational issues to be associated with an event of this magnitude. There was a brief period early in the rain event on Friday where the Conner Creek Pump Station experienced a partial disruption in service; at no time was the pump station off-line. The GLWA team worked quickly to make repairs and the pump station was returned to full operational status in under one hour. Even with this partial disruption, at all times there were pumps running throughout the system. GLWA has begun an after-action review that will examine the regional system's response to this unprecedented rain event, during which more rain fell within 13 hours than typically falls during the entire month of June. It is important to note that the system functioned to its design capacity, the amount and the intensity of the rain received would have overwhelmed any combined collection system.