Water main break causes major flooding in neighborhood on Detroit's east side

For people living on Marquette Drive on Detroit’s east side, the street in front of their home looked more like a river after a water main broke on Dec. 18.

Now, several neighbors are still cleaning up the water that made its way into their basements. 

"My hot water tank doesn’t work and now my washer and dryer are gone," said neighbor Jonathan Neely. "It’s just a huge inconvenience here."

Neighbors’ frustrations are now growing. They told FOX 2 they’ve dealt with flooding before. Several said they filed claims with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department after a flood last year, but were denied. 

"We all got denied from that," said neighbor Anthony Brock. "People lost cars, furnaces, hot water tanks, and everything."

A statement from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department reads the following:

"Although not legally obligated to do so, DWSA hired a remediation contractor to clean and sanitize basements at homes affected by the main break. In response to sewage back up claims filed last year, those claims were reviewed with engineering data and were denied as there was no evidence that claimants suffered property damage, due to a defect in the sewer system."

"They said we don’t have any proof, that’s what they wrote we didn’t have any proof and we didn’t come up with receipts," Neely said. "We have a lot of elderly neighbors over here. A lot of people can’t afford to buy hot water tanks or furnaces. We need help to purchase these things."
Now as crews continue to clean up after finishing the repairs for this water main break, Neely said he was yet to hear from the city about his flooded basement. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes Water Authority said they’ll work with impacted residents. These neighbors hope they keep their words. 

"We just need a lot of help," Neely said. "They know the damage from the hot water tanks to the furnaces. So, any little help would help out."