Etcetera

Poop water, flooded homes among the lowlights of recent rainfall


May 02, 2019, 7:00 AM

Recent heavy rainfall has spread misery in Dearborn Heights, where some neighborhoods are under water, and Jefferson-Chalmers in Detroit, as overflowing canals are washing into streets and basements. And now comes the what-fresh-hell-is-this development of raw-sewage overflows into Lake St. Clair, where much of the area draws its drinking water. 


Drains like the one at right are part of the problem. (Photo: WXYZ screen grab)

Multiple news sources are reporting on the damage.

The Detroit News reports on the most-severe flooding:

Among the hardest hit areas were Dearborn Heights and the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit.

Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko said he will ask the state to declare an emergency as his city set up a temporary shelter at its Justice Center.

...The flooding was exacerbated by high winds that pushed the water from Lake St. Clair to the Detroit River and the river onto land.

One of the neighborhoods affected by the rising river was Jefferson-Chalmers on Detroit's far east side, where the water poured over canal barriers.

For those of you who don't give much thought to what happens when you flush a toilet, WXYZ explains:

In Michigan the same sewer system that handles what you flush down toilets, shower drains and kitchen sinks also handles rain water. When flooding overflows the system, municipalities have two options: 1) dump partially treated sewer water downstream 2) allow basements to flood.

While neither option is ideal, the sound choice is to direct water to lakes and streams. Other options exist, but they cost millions of dollars. Some municipalities have spent millions of dollars to separate their sewer system from rain water collection, the other option — which is cheaper — is to create storage facilities for the water to be held until it can eventually be treated.

More storms are expected today, some carrying as much as an inch of additional rainfall, which will worsen conditions. 


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