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Detroit launches M program to reduce basement backups

Detroit launches $15M program to reduce basement backups

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Director Gary Brown unveiled a $15 million initiative Monday to assist homeowners in 11 flood-prone neighborhoods.

The Basement Backup Protection Program they said will safeguard properties during rainstorms by installing backwater valves and/or sump pumps starting with a $2.4 million pilot program launching this spring utilizing federal funds.

The city will begin the program in the Aviation Sub, along the Dearborn border on the west side, and Victoria Park neighborhoods, which Duggan and Brown noted were the hardest hit by backups and flooding during historic storms last summer that resulted in a presidential disaster declaration.

The city estimates 425 homes are eligible in Aviation Sub and 105 homes in Victoria Park.

On June 25 and 26, 6.5 inches of rain fell over 12 hours in Metro Detroit overwhelming infrastructure and causing freeways to close and residents to dump waterlogged basement belongings on their curbs. 

“Everybody remembers last June when more than 30,000 basements backed up,” said Duggan, adding last summer’s rain totals surpassed those from a previous storm on Aug. 11, 2014. “If we can work it out in these first two (neighborhoods), we will work toward the affected (low-lying neighborhoods) in this city.”

The second phase, which will launch in the summer, will tackle homes in Barton-McFarland, Chadsey Condon, Cornerstone Village, East English Village, Garden View, Jefferson Chalmers, Morningside, Moross-Morang and Warrendale. The neighborhoods were identified based on DWSD service requests for basement backups and claims, officials said.