East Lansing City Council approves investigating into Glencairn flooding

East Lansing City Council approves investigating into Glencairn flooding
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 10:48 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - After widespread flooding hit one East Lansing neighborhood over summer, some people pointed fingers at a nearby construction project.

They believe the project led to an even worse situation.

The East Lansing City Council approved a contract for a third party investigation Tuesday night to see if a nearby construction project made the flooding worse in the Glencairn neighborhood.

East Lansing experienced unprecedented rainfall, which played a role in the surface flooding and flooding of several basements in the Glencairn neighborhood. In five to six hours, the city saw seven inches of rainfall, causing flooding and sewer backups in the city.

“We’d rather like kind of measure twice, cut once kind of thing as we’re looking at solutions,” said mayor Ron Bacon. “That was my point around wanting a second opinion, I wanted see and talk to a couple of firms and make sure that our opinions and theories were aligning.”

At the time of the storm, the neighborhood was undergoing an improvement project involving sewer upgrades. Some residents blame that project for the flooding being as bad as it was.

“They’ll look at the functionality of the sewer, look at the weather and then offer an opinion on basically if the sewers were functioning properly,” said city manager George Lahanas. “What was the cause of surface flooding of basement backups and all the adverse effects that happened after that heavy rain event?”

When Donovan Thomas returned to his East Lansing apartment in August, he couldn’t believe what he missed during his week away from home. He also couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have been gone.

“I’ll be honest with you, if I was here during the week, I would’ve been looking for a new car,” Thomas said.

Flooding water had submerged his neighbor’s cars, basements and lower-level areas after the historical rainfall.

Residents in the Glencairn neighborhood are hoping something comes from the investigation.

“I feel like if the city’s able to do something about it they should,” Thomas said. “I mean taxes are pretty high in East Lansing, so if they’re able to do something they should.”

Tetra Tech will be paid $15,000 for the review, which will include data collection and rainfall research. The company said it can start immediately. It will take about seven weeks and then they can present their findings to the City Council.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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