(CBS DETROIT) -- The Great Lakes Water Authority denies all claims submitted following the flooding in June 2021.
The authority announced the decision on Tuesday and says it was based on two factors -- findings from an independent investigation conducted last year and the Michigan Governmental Liability for Negligence Act, which states GLWA would be considered liable if its sewage disposal system was 50% or more the cause of property damage.
"We understand the difficult situations homeowners and businesses face when flooding occurs," GLWA CEO Suzanne R. Coffey said in a press release. "We are experiencing increased frequency and intensity of storms hitting our region. This is why it's critical to focus on building resiliency in the regional system.
GLWA says the investigation determined widespread basement flooding was "inevitable due to the unprecedented amount and intensity of the rainfall that occurred on June 25-26, 2021." It also determined basement backups and surface flooding would still have occurred in GLWA's system even if everything in the regional system "worked in an ideal manner."
Click here to read the investigation's final report.
"Even before the release of the final report from the Independent Investigators, GLWA began working to implement key infrastructure and process improvements to help address the stresses put on an infrastructure system not built for this level of rain," Coffey said. "We remain committed to doing everything within our power and to working closely with our infrastructure partners in southeast Michigan, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change."
GLWA says it is working with lawmakers to find funding for a Flood Risk Mitigation Study for Southeast Michigan. The study would be conducted in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers if funded.
The authority urges property owners to take steps to protect their assets such as disconnecting downspouts, checking basement walls and foundation for leaks, disposing of grease properly (not in drains), and snaking drains and the sewer lateral service line every two years.
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