By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – The city plans to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation grant to acquire and demolish a flood damaged house on Keppen Avenue south of the Ecorse Creek.
The house, at 17070 Keppen Ave., has a rear yard which is south the of north branch of the Ecorse Creek, and has flooded twice in the past six years, rendering it unsellable.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has no plans for Ecorse Creek channel improvements in the area, and is focusing its efforts upstream with a proposed detention basin near Powers Avenue and Inkster Road in Dearborn Heights.
Mayor Gail McLeod said the city also plans to acquire an adjourning vacant lot at 17044 Keppen.
Souheil Sabak, of C.E. Raines, said that since a resolution plan will occur upstream, in Dearborn Heights, the Army Corps of Engineers will not entertain anything downstream from its ultimate solution.
McLeod said the work upstream may also be why Allen Park is no longer part of the Army Corps of Engineers’ flood study.
City Attorney Joseph Couvreur said the land cannot be built on, and must remain open, for flood overflow.
City Manager Mark Kibby said it is possible that the city might be able to utilize some Community Development Block Grant funding, if needed, for the demolition of the house.
Sabak said he hopes the FEMA grant would cover both the purchase and demolition.
McLeod said Dearborn Heights successfully used FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which allow communities to mitigate future disasters.
The FEMA HMGP allows for the purchase of private property that is in danger of experiencing repetitive damage. There is a cost share requirement of 25 percent from the local entity.
McLeod said she saw some videos of the flood damage the house experienced.
“It was just unbelievable, when you have water shooting – not just streaming down the walls — but shooting through the basement,” she said.