City Blamed for Flooding

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LANSING (WILX)-- Heavy rains brought a familiar problem back to the surface in one Lansing neighborhood.

The people in the Colonial Village say it's the city's fault that water is backing up into their basements.

While the city doesn't accept blame for the flooding, it admits that new drainage pipes put in during the Combined-Sewer-Overflow project has put those homeowners in the hands of mother nature. The city knows it has to be fixed.

"This was the worst," said homeowner Victoria Mackee. Her basement flooded with more than 20 inches of water Wednesday night. This is the fifth time her home in the Colonial Village neighborhood has flooded since 2008.

"It was so powerful it flipped over my refrigerator, moved my couch, and moved my washer. I've had water before, but never with this much power."

Mackee's neighbors say flooding has happened far too many times in recent years, They're blaming Lansing's Combined-Sewer-Overflow project, which replaced the pipes in 2005.

"People who have been here many years never experienced this kind of flood before the sewer separation went into action," said neighbor Peter March.

Public Service Director Chad Gamble admits there are drainage problems in the Colonial Village area. He says it's because the COS project replaced the sewer drainage with smaller pipes. It was done as an environmental project to reduce the amount of sewage going into the Grand River.

"The system now has limitations."

The city plans to fix the drainage problem, but Gamble says it won't happen for a few years.

"We have to spend millions of dollars improving (the drainage system). We have a couple projects that we are working on that will be coming in the next few years. The projects will help Colonial Village."

But neighbors say they can't wait that long.

"They are not doing anything about it and this is putting home owners in a bad predicament. The insurance is not going to keep paying for it," said neighbor Florence

If you are having similar problems in your area call Lansing's Public Service at 517-483-4161. They will send someone out to check on it for you.

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