The City of Detroit is seeking resident input on a plan to help recover from last year’s historic floods and programs to minimize future incidents.
The city is holding two virtual meetings this week to gather feedback on its tentative plan for $57.6 million in infrastructure improvements to prevent another emergency flood, like the one the “1,000-year flood” that the city saw in June 2021. Detroiters can chime in at 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in March announced Detroit would get the federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to cope with the impacts of the historic floods.
The city’s draft action plan includes $43 million for a program designed to replace and repair sewer lines and install backwater valves in homes in flood-prone areas.
The city also committed $2.4 million for a pilot in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood and Aviation subdivision to install backflow prevention valves and sump pumps. They plan to spend up to $15 million overall as the program expands. The effort aims to assist 11 Detroit neighborhoods that historically have been hit with basement backups during downpours.
Dan Austin, a city spokesman, said resident feedback is needed for the plan to be successful.
“Just because a plan may be the best strategy on paper doesn’t mean it’s what the residents actually want,” Austin said in a Monday statement to BridgeDetroit. “For that reason, it’s vitally important that residents come out and participate in the guiding of their neighborhood’s future. Their voices matter. Though we may not be able to please every person every time, we are always listening and adjusting to deliver plans based on the needs of those who live here and move our city forward together.”
Nearly six inches of rain fell in Detroit on June 25 and 26, resulting in 32,000 basement backups from the rainwater or combined sewage. The flooding left individual Detroiters with thousands of dollars in damages and lingering questions about who was to blame.
Detroit’s grant award is part of an overall $3 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds being awarded by HUD to help communities recover from disasters and build resilience to climate change, particularly areas historically marginalized.
For those who cannot attend the virtual meetings, thoughts, questions and concerns on the draft action plan also can be submitted through Nov. 4 to email@example.com.