The Metro: Detroit expands program to prevent basement flooding

More extreme weather events, caused by climate change, will continue to cause flooding challenges in the city.

A flooded sidewalk

Flooding in Detroit's Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, July 2019.

Detroit experienced one of the warmest winters on record. More extreme weather events, caused by climate change, will continue to cause flooding challenges in the city.

District Four Detroit City Councilwoman Latisha Johnson joined The Metro on Friday to discuss how the city is helping residents combat storm damage. 

The Detroit Basement Backup Protection Program has recently expanded to more neighborhoods in Detroit, Johnson says. 

The program, designed to remove rain water from the city’s systems, helps people disconnect downspouts and make sure water is going into the grass, flowerbeds or rain barrels. The program is also making sure residents have a sump pump or backflow preventer to keep water or sewage from coming onto the property. 

Johnson said one of the biggest additions to the program is lateral sewer line replacements. 

“We are actually digging up basements or, digging up backyards I should say, and removing the old cracked up pipe, the disconnected pipe and putting in all together a new plumbing system for their wastewater to go into the city’s main line,” she said.

The city is also working on incorporating green infrastructure to alleviate flooding, Johnson said. They’re identifying areas to introduce permeable pavement, rain gardens, and bioswales to soak up water before it enters the system. 

More headlines from The Metro on March 8, 2024: 

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  • We’re getting ready for the NFL draft and another Lion’s playoff march with Jeremy Reisman, editor-in-chief for Pride of Detroit — an SB Nation blog site for Detroit Lions Fans. 
  • Veterinarian and Detroiter Dr. Marcy McKeithen joined The Metro to discuss the importance of Black practitioners caring for pets. She hopes a new generation of Black vets will join the profession.   
  • WDET’s Ann Delisi spoke with Detroit Free Press restaurant critic Lyndsay Green about Alpino, the media outlet’s 2024 Restaurant of the Year.

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