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Family says elderly woman’s basement flooded with raw sewage in Detroit

DWSD says it is looking into the issue

Basement flooded with raw sewage in Detroit
Basement flooded with raw sewage in Detroit

DETROIT – Since March, Damita Pitman and her elderly aunt Rosetta have been dealing with flood waters coming into their Carpenter Street home in Detroit.

But since the recent major rainfall, Pitman said they have had at least a foot of raw sewage in the basement.

“It’s unbearable. The humidity, it heats that sewage up and it comes up,” she said.

The problem seems to be coming from a manhole that’s directly in front of her home.

Pitman’s aunt is 80 years old and is suffering from dementia. The mold and foul odor is too much for even some healthy family members to bear.

“I put my mask on and it went through my mask. It was unbearable,” said, Rosetta’s niece, Donna Marks.

Local 4 contacted the city of Detroit to see what could be done about the issue. Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Director Gary Brown said the department will be looking into the problem immediately.

“That’s not a healthy environment. They have mold growing in that basement and that needs to be the priority,” Brown said.

The concern however is that it’s a race against the clock before it’s too late.

“We’ve gotten sick. I can see the change in her,” Pitman said.

Brown said no matter what it takes, he’s going to work to find some type of resolution in a timely manner.

Click here to view the GoFundMe the family set up.


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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.