DETROIT – It’s been two weeks since people across Metro Detroit woke up to flooded basements.
For two disabled military veterans living in Detroit’s Morningside neighborhood, they’ve been living in filth ever since, but now the city is stepping in.
It was a bittersweet Saturday morning for the Maholmes. The contents of their flooded basement have been taken out to the trash. Within 24 hours of asking for help, the city responded.
“Right now, we’re just doing the best we can do and maybe this will make us a little more comfortable tonight because it’s been unbearable in there,” Larry Maholmes said.
Piece by piece and bag by bag, their basement was brought up to the curb. Their home was flooded by the recent storms that left behind sewage, mold, bugs and broken appliances.
“Ever since the 26th, no body had responded to our calls or anything,” Regina Maholmes said. “So, yes. I’m glad that they’re finally here.”
Both Maholmes are disabled veterans that were at a loss for what to do. After speaking with Local 4 Friday, the city stepped up to help.
On the side of the street, their things looked different. The destruction of the flood was brought out in to the light.
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department director Gary Brown came out to supervise the cleanup personally.
“Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is an anchor institution in the community and we’re here to solve problems,” Brown said. “We’re here to help and when we can do that, I’m certainly glad to help.”
While the Maholmes are happy about the cleanup, they know the road ahead is long and they are hoping for a fix before the next flood.
“It’s the third time and something’s got to be done to the infrastructure,” Larry Maholmes said. “Because it’s gong to happen again because it rains in Michigan.”
Brown said the city is looking at short term solutions -- like sump pumps -- and long term solutions, like separating the storm water system from the sewage system, but that would be costly and time consuming. For the Maholmes, their next step is Monday, when another crew will be out to sanitize the basement.