Mayor issues emergency declaration for Dearborn

DEARBORN – Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. issued an emergency declaration on Wednesday for Dearborn following the storm Monday that dropped 6 inches of rain in two hours and resulted in a number of flooded basements in the city and around the region.

By issuing the declaration, O’Reilly is advocating on behalf of Dearborn residents and businesses dramatically affected by the storm, and will be providing critical information in support of Wayne County and the state of Michigan, which have already issued declarations of disaster.

The disaster declarations are an important part of the process for the city to potentially become eligible for state help and federal resources.

The state’s declaration of disaster is necessary for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to potentially offer financial assistance, including to affected property owners.

“By issuing this declaration for Dearborn, we are supporting the efforts of Wayne County and the state to request federal resources for the region and our community,” O’Reilly said.

“We will be adding to the state and county’s data that illustrates the tremendous impact this record rainfall had on our city and our residents.

“We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to secure all potential resources for our residents.”

Although reports are still coming into the city, it is estimated that 40 percent of residential and commercial properties in Dearborn experienced flooding or sewer backups in their basements following the storm. Flooding destroyed water heaters, furnaces and major appliances.

Additional reasons for the emergency declaration, which asks for state assistance to supplement local response and recovery efforts, are:

• More than 75 percent of Dearborn’s roads, including state, local and county roads and main arteries were flooded and impassable. All major freeways were shut down.

• Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn is closed to ambulances due to having more than four feet of water in its basement and a flooded emergency room.

• City Hall was flooded and extensively damaged, with some services suspended.

• More than 85 cars were towed out of the flood water, underpasses and roadways in the city.

• Electricity was out for more than 18 hours in parts of the City.

• Police officers operated generators to downed traffic lights and officers also directed traffic.

• The Fire Department added an extra rescue unit to handle the higher than normal run volume and to account for impassible response routes.

Separate from the city’s declaration of disaster is advice to residents about reporting their flooded basements.

Residents should contact the Dearborn Sewerage Division at 943-2042 so that the city can compile and analyze the data about where flooding occurred.

In addition, residents wanting information about how to clean up a flooded basement should go to www.cityofdearborn.org and look for Information on basement flooding.

Also on the website are instructions on how to file a claim with the city for property damaged by flooding. Specific conditions apply for potential payments, and those are outlined at the website.

Residents may also go to the Legal Department at City Hall, 13615 Michigan Ave., to pick up a claim form from 8 a.m. to5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

City of Dearborn employees are not distributing claim forms door-to-door, nor is it necessary to have an attorney file the claim form on residents’ behalf.

Residents can file the claim form directly with the city. All claims are processed and reviewed by the city’s Legal Department whether they are submitted by a law firm or by an individual.

Those affected by flooding are encouraged to take photographs of damaged items and to save all receipts for services and materials related to basement cleanups.

The city continues to devote additional resources to the curbside collection of flood damaged items throughout Dearborn. Residents affected by water and sewage damage can put their trash on the curb regardless of their usual collection day.

There is no fee for the bulk pickup of flood damaged items.