Detroit preps for potential flooding, urges residents to help reduce impact


DETROIT – The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department is preparing for potential flooding and is urging residents to follow tips to reduce impact.

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Crews have been deployed to clean the catch basins and respond to potential flooding. The city is urging residents and businesses to check nearby catch basins to make sure there is no debris or objects on top of or near the drains to help reduce street flooding.

The DWSD is also recommending that Detroit residents do not flush wipes, even if they’re labeled flushable.

MORE: Officials remind people not to flush latex gloves down the toilet

The Great Lakes Water Authority is staffing and monitoring pumping stations and wet weather treatment facilities.

Tips from DWSD:

  • Do not flush anything in your toilet except the three P’s: Pee, Poop and toilet Paper; flushing anything else may cause your sewer line to clog and back up into your basement.
  • Do not put anything but water into the drains – no grease, oils, fats or other debris.

Flooding Tips:

  • Avoid driving through standing water.
  • Clear leaves, trash and other debris from above and around the catch basins, and make sure no objects such as garbage and recycling bins are on top of the storm drain; during the COVID-19 pandemic be sure to follow the Center for Disease Control and City of Detroit guidelines.
  • Make sure valuables are stored several feet above basement floors in case you experience a flooded basement; move valuables to an upper floor prior to and during rain events.
  • Check your basement drain(s) to make sure they are not clogged in case they are needed if water enters your basement.
  • Stay clear of standing water in your basement if the area includes electrical appliances, outlets, and a fuse box.

If your basement backs up be cautious, take photos and if there is damage file a claim within 45 days of the incident. Property owners are responsible for the sewer infrastructure on their parcels, including the sewer line.

Report street flooding by using the “Improve Detroit” SeeClickFix mobile app for Apple and Android devices, through Facebook messaging at www.facebook.com/DWSDDetroit or call 313-267-8000.

DWSD Graphic.
DWSD Graphic. (DWSD)

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