Detroit renters deal with pipes bursting, flooding, no heat due to frigid temps over the weekend

DETROIT – Amid the deep freeze over the past few days, Local 4 has received multiple calls from renters with pipes bursting leading to power outages. Some were even forced to live without heat.

They all want answers and a fix to the problem, but both have been hard to get, especially during the holidays.

On Christmas Day, Detroit City Club Apartments on Washington Boulevard had a pipe burst on their 22nd floor. To make matters worse, flood water damaged DTE Energy equipment in the building leading to loss of power and heat. Management says 15 units were impacted, but not all of those apartments are occupied.

More: Shelby Township Library damaged when pipes burst on Christmas Eve

DTE Energy is working on a solution. A spokesperson says they’re waiting for a part to arrive Tuesday to finish the repair by the end of the day.

Renters living in the building say some are more fortunate than others.

“We’re running some extension cords from the hallway into our apartment, and we have a few space heaters,” said one tenant. “The apartments that flooded are also apartments that have no water, no heat; their floors are frozen.”

Another tenant said they were alerted by management Sunday and understand the challenges the holiday brings, but as the days go on, they grow miserable.

“Yesterday, I got dressed in the cold and in the dark, went to work, and said fine when I get home. Hopefully, things will be settled. I get another text message saying it’s going to be today now, mind you, I done lost food, my stove is electric, I can’t cook,” said a renter. “My issue is that there is no offer of blankets, there’s no offer of coffee or ‘hey we understand, we’re here with you’, everybody is out here just miserable.”

Also: Make sure your pipes don’t freeze during this winter

Another renter said they understand things happen but don’t like how it’s being handled by management “We’re paying for a luxury high rise and that’s not what you’re getting.”

City of Detroit’s Building Safety Engineering Environmental Department (BSEED) director David Bell said they did send an inspector to Detroit City Club to take a look.

With renters across the city dealing with similar conditions, Bell has advice for renters.

“They should call 313-224-3114 and we will get out there within 24 hours. We’re here to help them out. And make sure that the landlords are doing what they need to do to make the necessary repairs,” said Bell.

The City of Detroit also has warming centers for those without heat or power.

Below is a statement from DTE on Dec. 27 at 9 p.m.

Related: Here’s how you can find a warming center in Metro Detroit

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.