Thursday, July 8, 2021

Cleaning up

Local communities continue to battle effects of major storms

Westland DPS crews continued picking up storm related trash
 from curbs throughout the holiday weekend. The damaged
 items are being taken to the city DPS facility, bottom two
photos, and the Hawthorne Valley transfer site for removal.
Officials said that DPS personnel have been working 12-hour shifts
since the storm struck last Saturday morning. Several areas of
 Wayne continued to report power outages this week. 
During an emergency meeting last Friday, members of the Westland City Council agreed to allocate up to $1 million in funding to clean up damage caused by recent storms.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared Wayne County a disaster area due to the property damage experienced in the area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already been doing in conjunction with local agencies.

Many residents throughout the area experienced severe basement flooding following the heavy rainfall which was estimated at 6-inches in the area. Residents in Wayne and Inkster are also facing severe damage and loss of property ruined in the flooding.

Westland councilman Peter Herzberg and mayoral candidate Tasha Green cast the only dissenting votes on the relief funding. Herzberg complained that the meeting was not scheduled earlier in the week while Green said the $1 million was too much to immediately dedicate to the effort. That amount was proposed by city Finance Director Steve Smith. 

Westland officials have estimated that millions of gallons of raw sewage was discharged into the Rouge River as the city sewage system was overwhelmed by the torrential rains. Crews from DPW and DPS systems in Westland, Wayne, Canton Township and Inkster have been working steadily on pick-up of water and sewage damaged property. 

Residents from throughout the area have already filed claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the loss of property, officials said. Forms to report damage in Westland are available at Westland City Hall; Westland Police Department; Westland Fire Administration;William P Faust Public Library;Westland Senior Friendship Center; Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center.

In Wayne, clean up kits are available at no cost at the police department. The kits include a bucket, mop, liquid cleaner, mask, gloves and other items. Any Wayne resident can pick up a kit from the lobby at the Wayne Police Department 24/7. It is not necessary to request a kit, simply take one while supplies last, police officials said.