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Heavy rains once again bring floods

Although Thursday’s heavy rains caused a massive flooding of streets and basements, there were some who took it in stride and had a little fun. Above is a photo illustration by Konrad Maziarz on how the Pope statue dealt with the deluge.

Although Thursday’s heavy rains caused a massive flooding of streets and basements, there were some who took it in stride and had a little fun. Above is a photo illustration by Konrad Maziarz on how the Pope statue dealt with the deluge.



By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck’s Achilles’ heel once again acted up on Thursday.
Heavy rains in the metro region caused massive flooding throughout the area – including Hamtramck.
The rains caused many streets to flood and worse, once again basement backups.
By 11 a.m. a number of residents reported about one foot of flood water in their basement.
At the time The Review went to press, the situation wasn’t going to get better. Rains were predicted to continue in waves through the rest of the day and Friday as well.
The city has taken a first step in fixing the problem of basement flooding by installing a new sewer system in the southend on Jos. Campau and Goodson. But that repair is still ongoing and did not provide relief.
The city was forced to update its entire sewer system because of ongoing basement flooding. A group of residents filed a lawsuit against the city a few years ago which resulted in a payout to them and a court order for the city to begin repairs to the sewer system.
The entire project will take years to complete and cost upwards of $40 million. City officials say they don’t know where that funding will come from.
The initial repairs were funded by an $11.5 million grant from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.
So, while it appears there will soon be some relief, the threat of basement flooding will continue for a number of years.
But this being Hamtramck, residents have developed a sense of humor about the issue. Konrad Maziarz, an IT specialist at the Hamtramck Public Library, used his Photoshop skills to add a funny touch to the Pope statue that summarized the city’s deluge.

Update: Although it’s unlikely you would get anywhere suing the city for basement flooding since that’s already been done and the city has agreed to take steps to correct the problem, there is another form of relief.
According to a notice put out by the city of Hamtramck, you can make a claim to recover costs of damaged or lost items caused by flooding.
You can find the claim form – “Sewer Overflow/Back-Up Claim” — online at:

Update2: What is the chance of receiving compensation by filling out that claim form? Nada, or in other words, no chance at all. That’s because this week’s flooding did not rise to the level of an emergency, at least what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) considers an emergency.

But, and this is a big but, by filing a claim that will help the city track where flooding is happening. With this information, the city can make a good case for receiving government funding to tackle this problem. Plus, if the rains continue and it does get to the level of an emergency, your claim will already be on file.

So what’s an emergency? That’s when flooding comes up to your living area. In other words, the back water rises up through the basement and into the first level of your dwelling.

7 Responses to Heavy rains once again bring floods

  1. Neighbor

    September 30, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I was under the impression, as your newspaper has reported, that the rise in our water bills was to pay for the cost of connecting our sewage system to Detroit’s main sewage line on Conant which was not done long time ago, and that this connection will solve the problem. Was that a true or false information?

  2. csercombe

    October 1, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    not sure where you read that

  3. Neighbor

    October 3, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Like it or not, we have to fix up our city.
    In the upcoming months it’s likely we will see an extra fee tacked onto our water bills in order to fund needed – and way overdue – repairs to our sewer system.
    Hamtramck’s basement flooding is well known, and after two major floodings homeowners filed a class action lawsuit against the city to force the issue.
    Because of that case, the court has ordered the city to begin making repairs. But since the city doesn’t have millions of dollars on hand, it has to pass on the cost to us.
    It’s not yet known what the fee increase is going to be until $7 million worth of bonds is purchased by the city. That will take a few months to put together.
    Our sewer system is old and breaking down. It should have also been connected to a much larger system that runs under Conant, which was built in the 1950s.
    Voters had a chance to connect with that sewer line back in the 1950s but foolishly rejected it.
    We have suffered the consequences of that action for decades.
    It will cost us more money in the near future, but in the long run it will be money well spent.

  4. csercombe

    October 3, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    we will look into whatever became of that plan and the $7 million in bonds the city was going to purhase …

  5. csercombe

    October 4, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    There is a current fee that is paying off the bonds for the current sewer repair being performed. That fee does not cover the remaining repairs that need to be done.

  6. guest

    October 4, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Well, it looks like the fees we are paying are going down the drain. Pun intended.

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