Are Lansing Storm Drains Working Properly?

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Tracy Shiels was up until 2 a.m. Friday morning. After wading through knee-high water to get into Shop Stop Bar - her business on Clare Street off Michigan Avenue - she spent the night sweeping, and sopping up the water inside.

Shiels said cleaning bills and the cost of flood damage to the carpeting could add up to $5,000. It took the water two to three hours to drain from outside her business, but she wondered whether the storm drains could have worked more quickly.

Ingham County Drain Commissioner, Pat Lindemann, said two to three hours is the normal amount of time water should take to drain. The floods were so large, he said, because the rain came down so quickly in such a short period of time.

He said it would not be practical to build more storm drains or widen the existing drains because it would cost tens of millions of dollars.

Lindemann said flooding is inevitable whenever it rains. He advised residents to purchase flood insurance and sand bags. He also said people can find out if they are in a flood danger-zone by checking out flood maps at the Department of Public Works.


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