Residents concerned over safety issue after fallen tree, debris litter Detroit street

Local 4 Consumer Investigator looks into who’s responsible and gets the street cleaned up

A big mess on a Detroit street turned into a big safety concern.

DETROIT – A big mess on a Detroit street turned into a big safety concern.

Washburn Street, on Detroit’s east side, was littered with debris and a large tree that came crashing down recently during wild weather. The damage wasn’t just an eyesore, but also a potential safety issue for residents.

Neighbors wanted it cleaned up, so they called Help Me Hank to investigate.

Hank Winchester found that the city had done some tree trimming on Washburn Street at about the same time DTE was doing some work in the area. Some who reached out weren’t exactly sure who created the mess, they just wanted it cleaned up.

Winchester was alerted to the issue when someone Tweeted to him, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan and DTE Energy.

Come to find out, DTE did not cause the mess. Detroit forestry crews were doing work here at about the same time as the DTE project. However, as it was being sorted out, DTE jumped into action and sent a crew to help.

Winchester learned it was a city issue and Detroit city officials were quick to respond, sending a crew out to clean up the large mess and everything left behind.

Washburn Street is now clear of the clutter and is no longer a safety concern for those living in the area.

If you have an issue like this, it’s key to contact the city. Outside of Tweeting the mayor, there’s no record of anyone actually reporting the mess to city officials. To report fallen trees, potholes, damaged street signs, water issues and more, use the Improve Detroit mobile app. The app utilizes the user’s location and provides a menu of common quality-of-life conditions to choose from in the service request. Uploading a photo with your report also helps the Detroit staff identify the problem.

You can get the Improve Detroit app on the Apple Store, Google Play Store or you can report an issue online here.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.