City Working to Address Storm Flooding Issues

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

The pleas were numerous.

"In all the years I've lived here--38 years--I've never had a fiasco like this."

The frustration was obvious.

"We just had a hole in the back of our house, all our stuff, all our years of memories were down there floating in sewage water."

Dozens came forward Monday night at the Lansing City Council Committee of the Whole meeting to plead to the city to do something about the recent and constant flooding problems.

Many claimed it's an issue that only started after a Combined Sewer Overflow project, or CSO, was put in near the Colonial Village and Birchfield neighborhoods a few years ago.

The CSO brought in smaller sewer pipes to keep sewage from draining into the Grand River, but instead the water is draining back into basements.

Basements like Peter March's, which has flooded three times since 2008.

"I'm almost at the point of despair with the city doing anything," March said. "We come up here and we explain the problem over and over again and nothing happens."

But Chad Gamble, director of the public service department in Lansing said they are trying to address the issue.

"It is important for us to understand these problems," Gamble said. "We're aware of them and are working very hard to be able to solve those problems."

The solution could come in the form of a new $420 million sewer overflow program which is now in the works, but according to Gamble it won't be a quick fix.

"It's going to take, in the end, several decades to solve the problem," he said. "It's very important for us to move forward in a cost-effective way."

In the meantime, Gamble said the city does have programs for residents like the Basement Backup Prevention Program. But it focuses mainly on preventative measures.

If you do have a sewer or flooding problem though, you are encouraged to call and file a claim with the city at (517) 483 4457.

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