Great Lakes Water Authority adds staff, prepares for more rain

‘As far as we know, we can bring all the pumps online’

With multiple rounds of rain in the forecast, a lot of Metro Detroiters are anxious over the potential for flooded basements.
With multiple rounds of rain in the forecast, a lot of Metro Detroiters are anxious over the potential for flooded basements.

DETROITWith multiple rounds of rain in the forecast, a lot of Metro Detroiters are anxious over the potential for flooded basements.

On Detroit’s east side, there’s a large focus on the pumping facilities to makes sure they’re up and running before it’s too late.

Read: President Biden declares disaster in Michigan following June flooding

The focus has been on the Connor Creek Pump Station and the Freud Station down the street. Both station experienced major failures recently and the Great Lakes Water Authority said they’re ready for the rain as long as the power holds out.

GLWA COO Navid Mehram spoke Thursday in front of the Freud Pumping Station about what’s being done ahead of the next round of torrential rain.

“These guys are the ones that are out here all weekend during the rain event while everybody else is sleeping,” Mehram said. “They are the ones that are running around making sure our assets are working.”

Read: Great Lakes Water Authority: Multiple pumps weren’t working night of the floods

GLWA said they’ve hired generator mechanics and electricians to be on call through Saturday, but each pumping house will have its standard two staff members inside, ready to go.

“We don’t anticipate any issues and we will be able to bring those pumps online and, similarly, at Freud the power has been restored,” Mehram said. “As far as we know, we can bring all the pumps online.”

Between the two pumping facilities, there are 16 pumps that can move hundreds of millions of gallons of water at a time. GLWA said it can only run up to 12 at a time, but during the last major rainfall, they were only running eight.

Read: Macomb County, Detroit officials call for investigation into pump station ‘failure’

It also takes five to six minutes for the pumps to get going, which could mean feet of water in neighborhoods and homes before anything happens. When asked if there was anything being done to prevent a delay in getting the pumps working, Local 4 was told it depends on the problem.

The GLWA said it is doing what it can, but homeowners need to be vigilant.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

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.