Metro Detroit residents asked to remove valuable items from basements as region braces for heavy rain

Flood watch in place for at least 24 hours

With several inches of rain expected to fall across Metro Detroit over the next few days, the Great Lakes Water Authority is warning residents to remain alert and be prepared for potential flooding -- especially after an issue was discovered at a local pump station.
With several inches of rain expected to fall across Metro Detroit over the next few days, the Great Lakes Water Authority is warning residents to remain alert and be prepared for potential flooding -- especially after an issue was discovered at a local pump station.

DETROIT – The Great Lakes Water Authority is bracing for heavy rains and flooding over the next few days.

“This is a significant amount of rain. It’s forecasted six and a half inches over the next three days,” said GLWA Interim CEO Suzanne Coffey.

Coffey said the rain is coming and more than likely, there will be flooding over the next few days.

Coffey believes GLWA is prepared adding, “We have our Conner Creek Pump Station fully ready, staffed, people ready to trouble shoot if we need to.”

Live radar: Tracking storms, possible torrential downpours in SE Michigan

Metro Detroit live weather radar and alerts: Tracking potential for heavy rain today

Coffey said given the complexity of the system’s operations and the fact that pumps can only be activated during a storm event, troubleshooting can only occur in real time.

“Our Freud Pump Station is the station we call our energy suppliers, they’re staffing with us. In addition to the energy suppliers we have, contractors and consultants there to assist us so that we can, not only troubleshoot if we need to but also diagnose some of the power related issues that we’re having there,” said Coffey.

They’re also asking residents in those flooding areas, especially on Detroit’s east side to clean out their basements prior to the storm and flooding.

Coffet added, “I would suggest that you make sure your valuables are out of the basement. Your pets, yourself are out of the basement.”

“Every time we have a rain, or a pending rain event. We’re all on pins and needles,” said Robert Tucker.

And that’s the case for Tucker. He lives on Hillcrest on Detroit’s east side. His basement flooded several times over the summer. He said the worse flooding happened in June.

“We’re fit to be tired. We don’t know what to do,” said Tucker.

But the Great Lakes Water Authority is telling him and everyone in flooding areas to clean out their basements in preparation of the rain coming the next few days.

“They’re telling us to get our stuff out of the basement. You’re telling me, you’re ill equipped and you’re not doing your job,” said Tucker.

“Yes, it’s been hard. It’s really been hard. It’s been very frustrating, and I’ve been very angry,” said Charles Smith.

Smith is in the same boat. He also lives on Detroit’s east side. His basement also flooded, but the last time was personal. His wife died in October 2020. He lost her most valuable items in the flood.

“All of our pictures were destroyed. I don’t have no memories of my wedding, my children growing up. It was almost as bad, my house might as well burn down,” he said.

And now, he’s preparing for another fight with mother nature. He’s hoping for the best but expecting the worse. He simply wants something to be done about the flooding in Detroit.

“If they have to bring in experts to teach them what they don’t know do that whatever it takes, but what they have been doing is not working,” said Smith.

Watch more: Detroit homeowners prepare for flood threat

Detroit homeowners prepare for flood threat
Detroit homeowners prepare for flood threat

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About the Authors:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.