DETROIT (WJBK) - About 18 months ago, DTE went out and replaced a decaying utility pole. The sewer line was somehow pierced during the installation of the new pole, though, flooding neighbors' basements with filthy water.
The pole at Kendall just off the Southfield Service Drive in Detroit was replaced in late 2016, which was good. But the sewer line was punctured, which was bad, and nobody knew until about two weeks ago when seven basements along Ashton Street were flooded.
"This isn't a way for a person to retire, sitting down in the cold," James Holland said.
He spent 40 years with Ford and is now retired and living in Detroit. His basement was full of water that not only smelled terrible, it blew out his furnace.
"I got COPD and I can't breathe that stuff coming from the basement, it's been down there for five days," he said.
But nobody could get answers about why his basement flooded. The FOX 2 Problem Solvers, however, found the problems and the solutions.
A liaison from the mayor's office was out there and we put a call into the Detroit Water Sewerage Dept. They said they were going to fix the leak, which caused the flooded basements, and pay for new furnaces and hot water heaters.
"There's a brand new water heater down there now but that two weeks was rough for me, my wife, and my son," Ja'ron Embry said.
Despite the fact that the water department says they are fixing things, the pole is still leaning and we haven't even had the spring rainy season yet.
The Detroit Water and Sewage Department released a statement saying "with our fellow city departments, DWSD is making sure these residents' homes are safe, have heat and hot water."
So why is the pole leaning? A spokesperson for DTE said a car hit it on Sunday but crews are going to straighten it up and the water department will work with DTE to permanently move that pole away from the sewer.