By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – For the second time in three weeks, a summer rainstorm ended with residents in Lincoln Park waking up to basements flooded with water and sewage.
Problems resulting from a backed-up sewer system last week were not as widespread as the previous event of July 29, City Administrator Steve Duchane said. Last month, more than 150 homeowner claims were submitted to the city in the wake of storm. Duchane said that about 20 claims were filed after Tuesday’s additional rain.
“We are reviewing claims,” he said. “There is no apparent mechanical failure in the system.”
Duchane said a crew from Detroit-based civil engineers Wade-Trim examined the system on Tuesday and confirmed that last week’s incident was not due to faulty equipment.
“All the numbers appear correct,” Duchane said. “I know there are other stories and theories being told, but we don’t have anything other than a surcharged system and high level of rainfall in a short period of time.”
That wasn’t the case last month, when several days of intense rains brought to light an issue with the pumping station at Emmons Street. A float device failed to trigger a switch for three pumps, resulting in sewage backup that flooded basements throughout the city’s southeast. More than 150 residents from Harrison, Moran, River Drive, Fort and other streets suffered household damage.
Lincoln Park began working with Sterling Heights-based independent claims adjusters Crawford & Co. to begin settling homeowner claims. Duchane said last week those claims were still being processed, and the estimated 20 complaints filed after the Aug. 9 storm will be likewise reviewed. Some of those claims were from residents of streets that were flooded last month, while others — as well as an unknown number of homes throughout Downriver communities — were added to the list of claims.
Duchane said that claims which will be satisfied by the city are not covered by the city’s insurance, and state or federal funding is not applicable to the situation. Damage claims from residents reportedly range from a few thousand dollars for clean-up to much larger sums in the event of property loss.
Duchane said it was not yet determined what caused the recent backup. He advised residents to go to the city’s web site, www.lincolnpark.govoffice.com for information and guidelines for filing a claim.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])