A regional water authority board has formed a committee to look at the agency’s response to last month’s heavy rainfall that led to basement and street flooding in the Detroit area.
The committee will lead the Great Lakes Water Authority board’s independent investigation and hire engineering and legal firms to assist in the review, Michelle Zdrodowski, spokeswoman for the authority, said in an email Wednesday.
The committee includes representatives appointed by Wayne and Macomb counties, and the city of Detroit.
A storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain June 25-26 on the area, leaving thousands of basements and dozens of streets flooded. Cars and SUVs stuck in high water were abandoned on flooded freeways and many streets were impassable.
Two water pumping stations in Detroit experienced power-related problems but did not fail during the rainstorm, Great Lakes Water Authority Chief Executive Sue McCormick told reporters several days later.
McCormick said that due to an electrical service issue only three of six pumps at one station were able to be brought online, while a power outage at a second station slowed efforts to turn three of its pumps on as the rain poured.
“Not only did we receive a large volume of precipitation, but it also fell in very intense bursts,” she said. “A review of the gauge data indicated the rain event was far beyond our designed standard.”
Candice Miller, public works commissioner in neighboring Macomb County, earlier had called for an independent investigation.
On Tuesday, 20 residents Grosse Pointe Park filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court against the authority alleging that 8 feet of wastewater flooded their basements through sewer lines.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the cities of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park also are named in the lawsuit.