Detroit Issues Emergency Order Over Flooding In Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood [VIDEO]

July 10, 2019 - 10:04 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit is stepping up efforts to stop river and canal water from flooding homes and streets in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood as water levels continue to rise. 

During and since the holiday weekend, city workers have been out in the east side neighborhood clearing storm drains, assessing problem areas and helping to place more barriers. Despite those efforts, street and home flooding is still a major problem in some areas.

To keep rising waters out of the neighborhood, the city is preparing thousands of sandbags to place in low spots along the seawall and banks. Rather than simply offering sandbags to property owners for them to place, the city issued an Emergency Order that allows workers access to residents' properties to place bags. 

"While they may pose an inconvenience, the bags we are placing are to help protect residents’ homes and removing them at this time would allow the flood waters to pour into the neighborhood," Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry said in a statement. 

Homeowners who remove the bags will be fined $500 and the possibility of a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of up to $500 and or 90 days in jail.

DWSD Director Gary Brown said the order is necessary because the stakes, along with the water levels, are becoming higher.

“This, of course, is a temporary but necessary measure until we are able to stop the floodwaters from entering the combined sewer system and they eventually begin to recede.