Royal Oak, Clawson sued over historic 2014 flood

2 class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Royal Oak, Clawson residents

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Michigan's historic flood of 2014 has prompted two class action lawsuits.

The city of Royal Oak and Clawson, as well as Oakland County, are being sued in connection to the damages from the Aug. 11, 2014 flood.

Read back: Royal Oak residents fearful of more flood damage

The lawsuit claims the flooding was not a natural event but a man-made one. The lawsuit alleges the cities, and county, did not properly maintain the sewers, which ultimately led to thousands of dollars in property damage.

Freeways were flooded. Neighborhoods were left underwater, with basements being ruined by flood damage. Streets were lined with debris for weeks after the water receded. 

At the time, residents on Vinsetta Street in Royal Oak told Local 4 it wasn't the first time they had seen sewers backed up and roads flooded. 

Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison said streets such as Vinsetta occasionally were allowed to flood intentionally to act as catch basins, preventing sewage backups. 

"We've got a map of where all the claims have come from, and we're going to look at it to see where we need to concentrate some of our efforts to see if we've got a problem," Ellison said back in August 2014. 

Kevin Gallatin, of Royal Oak, said he was hit with $50,000 to $60,000 worth of damage to his home. 

"I came home to a destroyed basement and most of my belongings were destroyed," said Gallatin. "Everything that was salvageable from my basement is in my living room and in my bedrooms. So I live in boxes."

For residents such as Gallatin, the flood wasn't Mother Nature's fault. 

Paul Gross: Did global warming cause the "Great Flood of 2014?"

View: Severe Weather Safety Tips

Aug. 12, 2014: Warren among hardest hit by flood

In Warren, 18,000 homes fell victim to the flooding, adding up to about $1.2 billion in damage, according to Mayor Jim Fouts.

"It is more widespread than anyone thought," said Fouts at the time. "Every neighborhood has been hit."

Interstates were left completely underwater. 

Watch: Aerial video of flood at I-696, Mound Road

Watch: Aerial video of flooding at Davison, Lodge Freeway

Residents worked to clear drains on several neighborhood streets. 

Some drivers found themselves trapped after the water rose quickly. Firefighters worked quickly to rescue people from the flooded freeways. 

You can view the lawsuit filed against Royal Oak below. A separate lawsuit was filed against Clawson.

Oakland County residents lawsuit over 2014 flooding

Fatalities From Floods vs. All Other Natural Hazards | WeatherDB

Fatalities From Floods By State | WeatherDB

Current Flood Alerts | WeatherDB




About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.