‘Everything’s destroyed’: Metro Tire Service severely flooded while owner waited for Detroit to turn water off

DWSD turned water off on Tuesday

Water gushing from the ceiling, taking its toll on the brick and mortar of a small business. The owner says this has played out over several days. The pandemic has been hard enough on businesses like Metro Tire Service, which is now a flooded mess due to a broken water meter.

DETROIT – The COVID pandemic has been hard enough on businesses like Metro Tire Service, which is now a flooded mess due to a broken water meter.

They’ve been closed the last several days and it took a week before the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department turned off the water.

Read: Detroit launches program to reduce basement flooding in 11 neighborhoods: How to apply

“Everything is destroyed,” said owner James Ward. “I can’t even make money.”

Ward’s 35 years of hard work is underwater or just plain soaked.

“I did a whole lot just for it to come to this here and I can’t even get the water company to come out,” Ward said.

He said it started with a busted water meter on Feb. 1.

“The first day we were able to work around it and kind of work through it. Then the damage started to intensify,” said Alexander Kremko IV, Ward’s grandson who helps operate the business. “Everything is starting to freeze.”

Read: Detroit ignores calls to get water shut off after pipe bursts in home, leading to major damage

It killed the phone lines and power too so Metro Tire Service was forced to close.

They called the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department numerous times asking them to shut the water off.

“I’ve called about two, three times a day,” Ward said. “They just say they have to send out an emergency crew, but they got other people in front of me.”

As they waited, water continued to fill up their waiting room and office.

Local 4 got a hold of DWSD and they confirmed, Metro Tire Service reached out on Feb. 1 and said a crew responded on Feb. 2.

“The valve at the street is called the curb stop. It’s a sleeve that goes down to the water service. It was full of debris that was frozen together, so the crew was unable to get it at that time. The digging crews have been busy on water main breaks throughout the city, our system is 95 years old.” said Sam Smalley, DWSD chief operating officer, Detroit Water, and Sewerage Department.

Read: Detroit to finally fix leaking fire hydrant that has been creating a dangerous, slippery mess

They made time Tuesday, shut off the water, and brought tools to unthaw what they needed to.

When it comes to sending crews out, Smalley said “We prioritize providing safe clean drinking water to our customers so those that are out of water, our highest priority. Then we focus on major thoroughfares and major roads and keeping the water off the freeways and then other priorities. So we did respond to this, they (the DWSD crew) weren’t able to get it.”

If you find yourself in a similar situation as Metro Tire Services’ they suggest turning off the valves right away and making sure there’s heat where the water services come into the building so the line doesn’t freeze and cause the meter to burst.

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About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.