Dearborn Heights still under water from flooding

Day two was hardly any different than the first.

Dearborn Heights is still under water after Tuesday's heavy downpour.  Mayor Dan Paletko said that tunnels under the Southfield freeway that deal with storm water were likely clogged with debris. 

Some roads remain rivers. Drivers turned lawns into second lanes to avoid flooded residential streets and backyards became ponds. 

"It used to take me about two hours (to drain my backyard), but today I have been going since 5:15 a.m.," said Billy Lane. "It will go at least until tomorrow afternoon."

Homeowners like Hope Lambrix watched their basements flood yet again.

"Within the last year we've been working on this," she said. "Now we're back to square one."

She and her husband spent thousands of dollars finishing their basement. Now it's ruined thanks to the city's inability to deal with any meaningful rainfall. This is the fourth time their basement has flooded in 20 years.

"This is a lot of hard work," Lambrix said. "It is my husband's hard work, it's everything to us. I am done. I am fed up."

Drivers are too. Whether it was misplaced faith or just foolhardiness, many found themselves baptized in flood water after trying to push through it.

"I have seen everything here, cars with water up to the windshields, it's heartbreaking," said Dearborn Heights City Councilman Tom Wencel.

Wencel said he'd been out since 3 a.m. Wednesday towing stranded drivers. He says there's no reason a few inches of rain should leave his city in the lurch.

"It shouldn't be happening," Wencel said. "We don't know what the problem is, whatever it is, it needs to be fixed. This happens too many times."

Paletko said he has been in talks with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and congresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib about federal aid to help homeowners deal with flood damage. He said they all indicated their support for making that happen.

A word about flood insurance - Lambrix works for an insurance agent and said that flood insurance wouldn't really cover the damage because it would only deal with water that comes in under the door or in windows. What happened Wednesday was coming up from sewage lines. That would be an additional rider for sewage and drain backups.