What's the culprit behind flooding basements in Bay City? - WNEM TV 5

ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS

What's the culprit behind flooding basements in Bay City?

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Melissa Haut hates the rain. It means only one thing for her, a wet basement.

"It is so nerve-wracking that me and my husband get at each other's throat and we never fight," Haut said.

The water is an unwanted guest in her Bay City home. She believes it brings sewage and debris into her dwelling every time the skies open up. She claims the city lines are blocked, causing the backup and said public works staff aren't doing anything to fix it.

"My kids used to come down here and ride their bikes down in the winter, they can't. Because the smell is so bad I don't want them getting sick," Haut said.

Haut is not alone. TV5 cameras captured her neighbor pumping out water from their basement. And down the street Janelle Kanuszewski said she has the same issue.

"They're always backing up no matter what. We think it's because of the trees. It's constantly backing up and it has got like a really rotten smell and everything. It's gross," Kanuszewski said.

TV5 went to city hall to ask the tough questions to find out what's going to be done about all the flooded basements on Webster Street.

William Bohlen is director of public works. He disputes Haut's claim of raw sewage in the basement.

"If I find a defect in our sewer then we're going to come in and repair it," Bohlen said. "And then I would encourage the homeowners that have had issues to file a claim with our city clerk’s office and go through our formal claim process."

Bohlen said his crews investigated the situation yesterday and provided a picture that he said is showing clear water. Bohlen said his city lines are clear. But after talking to TV5, Bohlen said he will have his employees take a second look.

"I'll have our camera crew go out and videotape that sewer line in front of those houses to see if there's some issue that we're not seeing," Bohlen said.

Haut said she's glad the city will investigate and hopes to have a dry basement inside, no matter what the weather is outside.

"Maybe they can finally come to a solution of figuring out what's going on," Haut said.

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