‘I’m constantly losing stuff’: Water main break floods basements on Detroit’s west side

Only four homes reported an issue Monday, even though we know the flood has impacted more

A water main break over the weekend caused a huge mess for folks living in a neighborhood on Detroit's west side, and sadly - this isn't the first time it's happened.

DETROIT – A water main break over the weekend caused a massive mess for folks living in a neighborhood on Detroit’s west side, and sadly this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

It is a mixed blessing to have the water department come out to your neighborhood to fix a water main break. Yes, it’s good to know they’re fixing it, but the problem is you probably had a basement full of water like Angela Whiteside.

“This is constant for me,” said Whiteside. “I’m constantly losing stuff. I can’t afford that right now. I can’t keep doing it, and it makes me want to leave. I have been here 28 years.”

Whiteside spoke to Local 4 bleary-eyed Monday (Aug. 29). She works the overnight shift at Mack Avenue Assembly but spent what should have been her sleeping hours cleaning up after the mess.

Seen in the video player above was her basement on Sunday, which consisted of a couple of feet of water and not clean water. But the silty, sludgy, and possibly sewage-contaminated water filled her basement.

Seen in the video player above is what it looked like Monday, and considering something similar happened last year and sewage backed up in 2014. Well, it brought her to tears.

“I like my home, but I can’t keep doing this,” Whiteside said. “Everything I replaced last year with the flood, I’m replacing it again.”

Whiteside and her neighbors say half the neighborhood ended up flooded. Detroit Water and Sewer told Local 4 that a 90-year-old eight-inch water main broke, causing the flood, and a crew worked to fix it Monday.

We asked DWSD’s Brian Peckinpaugh whether Whiteside and her neighbors could get some help.

“We’ll send a crew over there to sanitize and clean the basement,” said Peckinpaugh.

“That’s great to me,” Whiteside said. “Anything can help right now.”

Only four homes reported the problem Monday, even though we know the flood impacted more.

Peckinpaugh told Local 4 not only would they sanitize and clean basements, but they would inspect water heaters and furnaces as part of that process.

Residents also can file a claim with the water department for more assistance from the city.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.