Council Meeting Statement from the City Administrator on Flooding
City of Allen Park15915 SOUTHFIELD ROAD
ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN 48101-2512
On the night of April 30th and the morning of May 1st, the City of Allen Park and the areas of Romulus, Taylor, Dearborn Heights, Lincoln Park, and Ecorse experienced a significant rainfall event – which followed several rainfall events that started on or after April 20, 2019. It is estimated that the area received approximately 3.6 inches of rain in a 7 hour period. This rain event caused many streets to flood due to the inundation of the storm sewer system and the Ecorse Creek. Additionally, many transmission sewer lines that are part of the Downriver Utility Wastewater Authority (DUWA) and the DUWA sewer treatment plant quickly became surcharged, causing many homes in Allen Park, as well as homes in neighboring Lincoln Park and Ecorse, to encounter flooded basements and consequently damage to their personal belongings. There are no indications that there were any problems with the sanitary sewer system performance, other than it was overwhelmed with more water than it was designed to handle. There was an electrical issue at the College Street Pump Station that was quickly fixed by DTE, but that facility is a storm water pump station – with no association to the sanitary sewer system.
Shortly following the storm event, the City was in contact with the Wayne County Department of Emergency Management via email and conference calls. After sending Wayne County Emergency Management some very rough estimates on damage in the City, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans declared a local state of emergency in the County. Subsequently, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County. These are necessary steps required for the State to request a Federal Declaration of Emergency from FEMA.
On May 6th, upon receiving damage reports, the City submitted the first group of house addresses to Wayne County Emergency Management as part of a required Preliminary Damage Assessment.
A total of 560 addresses were included in this submission.
On May 9th, upon receiving additional damage reports, the City submitted the second group of house addresses that were required by Wayne County Emergency Management. For this submission, another 350 address were added to the Preliminary Damage Assessment.
On May 13th, the Michigan State Police sent a Damage Assessment Team to look at approximately 25 homes in the City that were reported to have sustained Major Damage, which is 18” of water or more. There were over 120 homes reported in this category.
We will submit a third group of addresses on Friday to Wayne County Emergency Management.
I anticipate that we will have an additional 150-200 homes to report. At that point, we will have approximately 1,100 homes that have reported some level of damage.
The City is intending to have all the household debris removed from the street easements by the end of day on Saturday, May 18th.
Advanced Disposal continues to make bulk pickups throughout the City, but it has been a slow and arduous process. They have been working within their organization to coordinate additional equipment and manpower, which will include 15 more pieces of equipment for Saturday.
The Allen Park DPS has also been assisting with the cleanup in the hardest hit area north of Southfield Road.
Earlier today, City staff met with representatives from GFL Environmental Services to see if they have any extra capacity to help the City. They have indicated that they will be able to send approximately 50 trucks to the City on Saturday. The City Council will be asked to approve that Emergency Contract later in the meeting.
According to our conversations with Wayne County Emergency Management staff, there is no exact time frame for FEMA to determine if a Federal Declaration of Emergency is warranted.