By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Residents impacted by the early morning June 26 flooding protested July 2 at the Dearborn police station, calling for an independent investigation, accountability and compensation for victims of basement flooding.
Protest organizer Mohamed Sohoubah of Dearborn said he was motivated by what he called city officials’ inaction and inability to provide answers for residents who experienced flood damage to their homes.
“We are demanding that answers be given to us, including accountability and an independent investigation by a federal agency about what took place,” he said. “Also, compensation for our losses, as well as accountability to fix the problem once and for all.”
Sohoubah said city officials should have learned from and taken action following the 2014 flooding.
“They should have had a system to prevent this in the future,” he said. “That inaction in itself is a failure. They had seven years to follow up, and they want to give us the same excuses.”
East Dearborn residents received no warning of the flooding in the early morning hours from city sirens, Sohoubah said, and noted that the east side of Dearborn has two waste water discharge points to west Dearborn’s dozen outlets.
“That, in itself, should have been addressed,” he said. “The south side has a very poor rainwater and sewage system. These are investments they should plan for the future.
“These are the failing infrastructures they know about, and they keep spending our taxes in other places.”
Dearborn resident Adeeb Mozip said the increased frequency of the “hundred-year floods” need to be expected and taken into account with respect to infrastructure planning.
“The city knew about the heavy rain and the storms at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, they said on their Facebook, and they knew that the heavy rain would come, and what did they do?” he said. “They canceled the Farmers Market.”
Mozip said the city failed to alert residents about the potential for storm-related flooding.
“When the flooding happened, when did we hear from our city officials?” he asked. “From anybody? At 9 o’clock in the morning, in a Facebook post, and we had been trying to rescue what we can from our basements, to keep our families safe.”
Mozip said he was concerned that the role of the city’s emergency manager, who is on a medical leave, was not adequately covered.
“They don’t have a person to do the things that need to be done,” he said. “Every time we get asked to pay more taxes, we do, millage after millage. And now, what happened? Our beautiful city is going away in front of our eyes.”