Suburban Public Works Chief Wants Independent Flood Probe
DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit official called Thursday for an independent investigation of a pump station blamed for flooding that ruined thousands of basements in the region.
The Macomb County public works commissioner, Candice Miller, said everyone knew intense rain was coming last Friday, but "it appears there was a management failure at the Conner Creek pump station."
Miller acknowledged that no system is designed to handle more than 6 inches of rain in a short period.
"They needed to have it properly manned," said Miller, a former Republican member of Congress. "They needed to have a backup plan, like a generator if the electricity went out."
Conner Creek is run by the Great Lakes Water Authority, a regional water, and wastewater agency. Macomb County is a member.
The agency said the Conner Creek station was down for less than an hour.
Miller's staff decided to release millions of gallons of treated water to Lake St. Clair rather than risk sewage backups that hit basements in the Grosse Pointe communities, Detroit, Dearborn, and Dearborn Heights.
"The public needs to have confidence that the investigation will be conducted with the utmost transparency," Miller said. "Those who are dealing now with the cleanup of flooded basements, and all ratepayers, deserve that."
Meanwhile, Mayor Mike Duggan was seeking volunteers to help older Detroit residents clear their basements. Buckets, mops, masks, and cleaner were offered for free.
"The loss of belongings and family memories is just heartbreaking," Duggan said.
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