Authentically Detroit is a BridgeDetroit partner podcast that tells the stories of Detroiters’ lives through exposition and interview.
When Myrtle Thompson went to sleep on Friday, everything was fine. She was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from one of her neighbors who told her to get up and look outside.
- Detroiters demand solutions after massive flooding
- Detroit’s eastside neighborhoods under water advisory
Thompson, a gardener and longtime resident of the Jefferson-Chalmers community, stumbled through her home and went to the window.
“There was water everywhere. My car was covered in water,” she told podcast hosts Orlando Bailey and Donna Givens Davidson. “It immediately reminded me of the first flood (in 2014), but it was way beyond that.”
Thompson leads the Freedom Freedom Growers initiative, where she teaches neighborhood youth how to grow food and tend to a garden. She says all of the produce that young people have grown this season has been spoiled.
Just a few blocks over, Tenia Green was in a panic as her basement quickly began to flood. Green said the water was so forceful, it knocked over her washer, dryer and refrigerator.
“The water was so high, you could swim in it,” she said.
Green wanted to leave her home and drive to her daughter’s house, but she said she couldn’t get out of the driveway.
Green, 61, has lived in her home her entire life. She has a son who has dialysis treatments at home and says that she’s worried about the short-term health effects of the sewage odor coming from her basement.
The eastside residents described the cost of clean-up and the need to replace items like water heaters. They also discussed the need for local accountability in times of climate change and how they feel like they don’t have anyone to turn to for help but each other.