Community Member

Lincoln Park Residents Tired of Basement Flooding

Lincoln Park, Michigan

Lincoln Park in southeast Michigan lies adjacent to the waterway connecting Lake Erie and Lake Huron – and when it rains, that can be an unfortunate place to be. Beleaguered residents have come together and the name of the organization says it all: Lincoln Park Residents Tired of Basement Flooding. They aim to hold the city accountable for ancient water and sewerage systems that desperately need repair. They work around empowering their community to contact city leaders and carefully document each incident and the damage that occurred. They’ve found the only way to get any help is to constantly contact city services and report each and every flooding incident. Standing up and confronting those in charge has been their only success in implementing change within the community.

Heavy street flooding on Fort Park, in August 2020.

Lita Toney leads and encourages the 350 Facebook group members to report all basement floods, which are caused by climate change and time—climate change because precipitation in Michigan has increased over 50 years and is expected to increase more as oceans heat up; and time because repairs have not kept up with commonplace damage (think tree roots, broken pipes). Lincoln Park did think ahead when it separated its sanitary sewer system from its storm sewer system in the 1980s. In combined systems, storm runoff joins toilet waste, and it all goes to the sewage treatment plant, which can be overwhelmed during hard rainstorms. In separated systems like Lincoln Park’s, toilet waste treatment isn’t expected to be affected by storms. The problem, though, is the need for repairs. Without them, stormwater gets into the pipes coming from toilets. When there’s too much rain, the combined mess backs up through basement drains. For Toney and her neighbors, repairs can’t be done soon enough.

Map of Lincoln Park flood-prone areas.

For more information:

LINCOLN PARK: Angry residents speak out at council meeting while city passes out reimbursement checks for basement flooding – The News Herald, June 2021

Lincoln Park neighborhood copes with recurring flood damages – Click on Detroit, August 2020

Lincoln Park declares state of emergency after flooding – The News Herald, May 2019

Flooding closes Downriver roads, schools; residents deal with basement flooding – The News Herald, May 2019

Lincoln Park residents sue city for flooding – Downriver Sunday Times, September 2016

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Lita Toney

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