Fed Up Detroiters Deal With Damage From Recurring Water Main Break

DETROIT (WWJ) – A torn up lawn, a giant hole, flooded basements, soiled shoes; a major water main break is causing all kinds of problems for residents on Detroit’s northwest side.

Virgina Saleem is among homeowners on Outer Drive, west of the Southfield Freeway, with flooded basements.

“You know it’s really scary. I was just for the most part concerned with what was going on on the inside of my home,” she said. “And then coming out here and just looking, there’s a six to seven-foot hole filled with standing water.”

“So many things could happen to children, to animals,” Saleem added. “The water that’s in my home, in my basement, standing water…I can see the water, but what damage is being done to the things I can’t see? This is a reoccurring problem and it’s a failure of some kind of system.”

She says people are losing property as a result. When she called the city to ask about compensation for the damage done and they told her to call FEMA.

About a dozen homes are affected.

Some have had their water shut off as crews make repairs, going door-to-door to notify residents.

Saleem’s neighbor, Duquetta Thomas, has had enough.

“We gotta always be on guard; we can’t really like, leave when it rains,” she told WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas, as she worked to pump the water out.

“I cannot even count how many times. Because, like I said, it first started in 2010 and we’ve been dealing with this every year,” Duquetta Thomas said, adding that she’s lost something like 100 pairs of shoes that were ruined by the flood waters.

Water Department Deputy Director and Chief Engineer Palencia Mobley said a contract has been awarded to replace the troublesome water main.

She said residents who have a problem can file claims on the city of Detroit website.


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