Detroit church experiences severe flooding after nearby drain is paved over

‘We lost everything that was in our basement,’ Barry Randolph said

'Man-made' mistake blamed for flooding at Detroit church
'Man-made' mistake blamed for flooding at Detroit church

DETROIT – A church in Detroit is still cleaning up damage from 5 feet of floodwater in the church basement from heavy rainfall.

Church of the Messiah Rev. Barry Randolph said he went out to clear the drain during the storm but he found that there was no longer a drain at all.

“It was unbelievable because I am searching for a drain that’s not there,” Randolph said.

During the storm drains on East Grand and Lafayette were backing up. It sent water right back into the church basement.

“We lost everything that was in our basement. That’s where most of our ministry is. Doctor’s office and more all underwater,” Randolph said.

The city was alerted a year ago by a nearby resident that crew resurfacing the street paved over the drain across from the church. Department of Public Works Director Ron Brundidge took a look at the street on Wednesday and confirmed that the drain was paved over.

“I want to thank them for making me aware of this,” Brundidge said.

Church services will continue outside.

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About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.