'We lost everything,' Dearborn Heights homeowners' basements flooded, property destroyed

Someone water skiing on McKinley Street. Another kayaking on Hanover Street. There were a few sights of humor following Wednesday's floods; but that was about it.

"We lost everything. Look at my clothes," said Salma Abdelwali.

She has a tear in her eye as she lists what has to be thrown out. Clothes, furniture and everything in between will have to be thrown out.

"Her washer, dryer, hot water tank, everything," said Joe Adams of Adams Complete Cleaning and Restoration. "She has nothing that's savable at all in there. So it's pretty sad."

Abdelwali lives on Hanover Street, which borders Ecorse Creek. Normally a shallow flow of water, it's become notorious for serious flooding. The tearful rendition of what Abdelwali lost isn't the first time she's seen this kind of damage. It's not even the worst case of damage.

"Two-thousand fourteen, it was bigger than this one," she said. "I had the front and the back, upstairs, downstairs."

She's eluding to a historic rain event five years ago, when a giant rain cloud parked itself over the metro area and flooded highways, neighborhoods and basements.

Since then, residents near the river basin have been waiting for potential relief, worried about the next predicted rain fall.

"They ain't doing nothing to alleviate the problem and sometimes when it rains, you see water coming back up the sewer on the corner, instead of going down," said Mike Shank.

City officials say there's a remedy on the horizon. A project that would include a retention basin at Inkster and Annapolis that would alleviate the flooding. However, it hasn't been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. And even if when it is approved, it'll still be years before it's built.

"There's no place to put this water," said Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko. "When you walk on the ground, it is so soggy - you couldn't put an ounce of water on there."

Until a solution is constructed, rain events like yesterdays will continue to threaten residents, leaving them frustrated.

"August 11 of this year would have been five years since we last lost a third of our house," said Greg Vancamp. "And nothing's been done about it."