DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Mayor Bill Bazzi and his administration announced their ideas for flood mitigation during a recent town hall meeting.
The meeting was held at the First Assembly of God and included City Engineer Ali Dib and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) to discuss the infrastructure and Ecorse Creek flooding issues.
Dib said there are a few projects planned for the city.
With the city obtaining grant funding, part of the plan includes purchasing homes in the areas that are prone to repeated flooding with the intent of demolishing them.
Our staff is actively involved with our federal, state and local partners to obtain financial assistance to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for our city. — City Engineer Ali Dib
The Wayne County Drain Commission has also agreed to accelerate its maintenance and dredging as well as log-jam removal efforts to restore channel flow capacity.
Dib also said that the plans include a full assessment of the two watersheds that impact the city, the Rouge and Ecorse Creek watersheds.
“A detailed study is currently in the scoping and funding stage, which will utilize the real estate generated by the above purchases to possibly create storm detention basins to help mitigate flooding in the neighborhoods,” he said in an email to The Arab American News. “The city is currently in the scoping phase to conduct a full evaluation of our portion of the watershed of the possible creation of detention, or possibly a retention, basin on parts of the city-owned Warren Valley Golf Course situated in the 100-year flood plain.”
In addition to these plans, the city is also currently evaluating the aging sewer system, both sanitary and storm, to identify areas of deficiency requiring capital expenditure.
“This evaluation will include a computer simulation of the city’s conveyance system performance and will take into account the impact of climate change as well as growth and development to develop engineering, ‘shovel ready’ solutions,” Dib said. “Demand generated by development in the past 50 plus years, combined with the effects of our climate change causing unprecedented rainfall intensity, frequency and volume are stressing our aging systems. Our staff is actively involved with our federal, state and local partners to obtain financial assistance to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for our city.”
At the meeting, several residents spoke up about their frustrations over the flooding, especially since the south end of the city was impacted by flooding more than five times within a two month time span this summer.
“I echo the concerns of our residents about the long-standing flooding, which continues to plague our city, some of whom have been dealing with this issue for decades,” Bazzi said. “Since being appointed to mayor, my team and I have been working diligently on devising six main projects to address these issues. This includes securing grants to purchase and demolish homes around the Ecorse Creek, creating water retention basins, evaluating methods to improve the city’s storm water conveyance and sanitary sewer systems, among other key components.
“We will continue to work with all stakeholders from the county and state, along with Representative Tlaib and others whom we have been meeting with to secure funding and begin cleaning the Ecorse Creek. It is important to have the opportunity to meet with residents, listen to their concerns and discuss our city’s new flood mitigation projects, which my team and I are working on to resolve this and other long-standing issues.”