Back in 2011 Remember That Flood? What Did Our Mayor Say?

DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Who is to blame for the flooding?

The mayor of Dearborn Heights says after hearing residents of his city on WWJ, he wanted to set the record straight.

Mayor Dan Paletko says water from the entire region is ending up in Dearborn Heights — and he sued the county over it.  The solution won’t come cheap — $165 million needs to be spent to fix the problem.

“Everyone has got to contribute because this water that’s in Dearborn Heights didn’t all come from Dearborn Heights — it’s flowing in from surrounding communities. But we are a low point in the Ecorse Creek system and the Rouge system and we end of being a depository — a retention basin if you will,” Paletko said.

The mayor said a study found the flooding fix in the Ecorse Creek area would carry a steep price tag.

“And it’s about 165 million dollar price tag  — and that’s what people are choking about — but Dearborn Heights is the biggest beneficiary of it – but we also happened to be  … we end up serving like a bath tub for all the surrounding areas – it’s both in the north end and the south end and it’s just not fair to our residents,” Palentko said.

Mayor Paletko adds he wants the problem fixed because he’s had flooding in his home.

The Mayor says he will meet with the flooded out residents to explain the solution to the problem.

Source: CBS Detroit

I’m sorry did I miss something in the past 3 years did the Mayor have a town hall meeting with us that I didn’t know about. It could have happened the City doesn’t have any way to let us know about such a meeting besides its website. Did any of you attend a meeting that the Mayor explained the flooding in Dearborn Heights. 3 years later another flood the same fix for the problem and the same price tag. 3 years later and nothings been done if you Mr. Mayor have been doing something “behind the scenes” on this subject let us know. Please don’t spend any more of our tax dollars doing another study that’s gong to give you the same answers as before. Answers that you don’t share with the public,solutions that you aren’t going to use.  Residents when and if the time ever comes that this administration or some other administration ask for a new Tax to pay for the solution are you going to pay? Thank you Teckee for posting the link to this story in the comment section. #flood2014drbnhgts


13 thoughts on “Back in 2011 Remember That Flood? What Did Our Mayor Say?”

  1. Grandma Suzanne here. There is a group of us that will be going out to the airport to meet with the administrator of environmental quality and have an explanation and tour of Metro’s storm water retention and discharge. I and some others feel that the airport uses the Ecorse River to divert some of its water run-off during a storm. I will report more on this after the meeting and tour.

    Mayor Paletko is correct in saying that other cities are allowed to dump their storm water on us during hard rains but like Kathy I don’t remember him holding any meetings regarding this particular subject. I remember a large meeting held at the Young Center many years ago regarding FEMA and flood plain insurance but nothing about the mayor actually hosting a meeting specific to the Ecorse River and Dearborn Heights.

    The question is? What has Mayor Paletko done himself besides suing and getting lawyers involved. Is he beating a path to Wayne County, the State of Michigan and even DC to help us. Oh no! That would draw anger on him from other politicians in these governments and he doesn’t want to do that because the only way of advancing his political career is kissing the gluteus maximus of the very ones he would have to anger. Since our mayor loves face time on TV and the press when he can promote himself, he sure as heck wouldn’t want negative face time this fight would draw from his opponents.

    You notice I use the term Ecorse River and not Creek. Up until the 1860’s it was referred to as a River. If you read the book “The Bark Covered House” (about a family that settles along its banks in the early 1830’s) you will see the Ecorse River is mentioned and not the Ecorse Creek. This book is a wonderful read as it tells the history of what we now call the south end of Dearborn Heights.

    In the 1860’s the farmers that were now in Taylor were able to get the county to rename it a drain instead of a river and what is now the south end of Dearborn Heights legally became a flood plain. Why, they wanted a way to divert water from their fields during a heavy rain. Since there were few families settled along the river (even the author of the above mentioned book moved from the Ecorse River to around Oxford and the Outer Drive area) and it was mostly marsh and woods; so if the Ecorse River flooded from the drainage off the Taylor farmer’s fields it didn’t harm anyone that is until a century later.

    When building up the south end of Dearborn Heights in the 1940’s I surmise that the builders felt calling it a “drain” would not be a good way to sell property so it was probably named a creek to make it sound better. “New houses being constructed near the winding Ecorse Creek”, would sure sound better than “New houses being constructed near the winding Ecorse Drain” was way more esthetically pleasing; which is probably why most of us call it the Ecorse Creek to this day.

    So this is why we continue to flood as we are legally a flood plain (this was never changed from when we were declared one back in the 1860’s) and way before the concept of FEMA was even thought of. If the status of floodplain for south Dearborn Heights had been changed back in the 1940’s to what it was before the county changed it to the drain in the 1860’s there is no way other cities would be able to flood us out via their use of the Ecorse River.

    People in other cities don’t want to pay for any improvements to the Ecorse River because they don’t have the problem from flooding via the Ecorse River. However, if we had city leaders who had the kahunas to challenge and fight for us it would become other city’s problem as they would not have the Ecorse River to dump into and they themselves would start flooding like we do. They would soon become very eager to help in the cost for improvements to the Ecorse River. However, as long as we have such weak city leaders who look at their own political good instead of the good of the residents in the south end, these other cities can literally continue to sh*t on us time and time again.

    There is another concern I have that is off the subject but important just the same. At the last council meeting there were several of us who noticed political signs for Warren Evans stacked in the council chambers annex (behind the plastic curtain that can be folded back to provide more space for members of the public to attend the council meetings). HMMMM!! What are political signs for Warren Evans doing in the Dearborn Heights City Hall? Hey Danny Boy, how about an answer instead of an excuse.


  2. One of the reason DH government officials don’t want Social Media is to force concern residents to physically show up to the meetings and be exposed to them. otherwise they don’t have to engage and communicate with them. This 3 minutes is a jock. with social media open public forum, ideas will be communicated and shared instantly and not waiting for a face to face meeting as its now.

    I don’t wana be humiliated by them if they disagree with my presentation, I don’t wana be yelled at to shut-up, I don’t wana be threaten to be sued as one resident said last meeting on 8/26/2014, I don’t wana be chased to the hall and called names, I don’t wana be threaten to be banned from public meetings. I don’t wana attend a meeting that I feel nothing will be accomplished and I will end by asking the public officials to stop given excuses and start working and cooperating with concern resident on solutions.

    Even with all the above excuses not to attend, the facts are many of us attend and exercise their freedom of speech and we appreciate and value their actions.

    We come to this social media and other outlets not to brag about our positions or opinions and not to tell the word who we are, we may in fact attending the council meetings and other public events but choose to remain unknown. not all of us are perusing an elected seat and have political ambitions and want our name to be popular and famous or simply and naturally are committed citizens to be community activists and serving their civic responsibilities,

    Again, Kudos to the courageous souls who attend and voice loud their mind, they deserve the utmost respect and support, and as history goes, changes are started by few at the right time and for the the right cause and I think the social media issue is the right cause.


  3. As the chair said, all elected DH officials live in the north end except Mr. Constant, but the majority of the flooded homes are in the south end of the city.

    Representation may be better allocated if the city charter amended to divide DH to 7 districts and one council member for each and must live in the district for a year. The south end will end up with 3 the north end with 3 and 1 for area east of Telegraph. Just thinking loud and out of the box. That in fact end the north end monopoly over the council.


  4. Karma – are you going to show up at the City Council meeting on 9/9? You can ask those questions yourself since you seem to know quite a bit about it. Don’t expect any answer from the council though. But you can say the same as the last resident – I’m asking these questions and I WANT answers. Please make sure you have them for me at the next council meeting.


  5. Our city residents and officials should read this court document to understand the flood issue.

    The question will be: how many gallons of drainage flow DH purchase? Is DH limited to that amount of discharges? Is that has any effect on basements and streets flooding?

    May be that one of the reasons DH officials not doing town hall meetings to avoid answering those questions?

    Just asking, we don’t know? Hope they know? And if not should find out and answer!

    Can’t continue having streets and basements flooded.

    Please answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Click on this public document.


  6. They are in full compliance, No release of non treated Water in to Detroit river. Excellent environmental achievement. But do they have the retention capacity to absorb and retain the access of water over their treatment capability? When their holding shaft is filled were the untreated water go? They close and open the gate according to treatment process capability to maintain 100% no discharge compliance. Its an excellent idea if you don’t have to close the gate on incoming untreated water. What happen to that water? It get to go somewhere? The water end up at treatment plant after over flown from all holding shafts and natural retention including the basements on the lower points of the area watershed, DH happen to be part of this lowest area.

    Solution: More holding shafts or retention basins needed or larger treatment facility, or combination of both to balance the overflow and contentiously drain the water from the lowest points.

    Heinz Park serve a combined role, a water retention and beautiful park area. An excellent community planning.

    One day nature will have its way to take bake those lower area and flood all the structures (and if the rain comes hard and continues for few days and we have no control over that) then what?

    Beach Castles tend to wash out with ocean waves,

    We have to respect nature and work to fit whiten its process, we have to respect the water and help direct its flow to avoid damages it may cause if we don’t control the flow.

    If we occupied the lowest points, then we have to create a new lowest points, lower then our basements.

    Please read and learn that understanding how nature works will help public officials planing to serve their communities according to the needs of that community, DH needs officials who are willing to commit and make the flood issue the most and foremost matter, and devote all their effort to deal with it.

    The least DH officials can do: Town Hall meetings a lot of them.

    “Downriver Wastewater Treatment Facility earns performance award
    Published: Saturday, August 03, 2013”


  7. So why are other communities allowed to drain their storm water into the Ecorse Creek when the result is our homes are flooded out. Its illegal for one city to dump its storm water on another city so why isn’t our mayor out fighting for us? He wants to come out as the good guy and fighting with other communities will not allow him to do this plus it doesn’t help his political aspirations.

    Putting in gates to block the deluge of storm water from other cities into the Ecorse Creek is the less costly way to prevent the flooding. A gate placed where the Ecorse Creek enters our city from an underground culvert from the west is a cheap solution. There is a remnant from such a gate at Hanover and Monroe where we used to keep Taylor from dumping their water on us during heavy rainfalls. Whose bright idea was to keep it permanently open?


  8. PeggySue: It’s not the fault of Wade Trim. They are a good company with a good reputation. The fault – again and again and again – belongs to the mayor. All this city does is spend money on “studies.” Then when the answer(s) come back along with how much it will cost to fix the problem(s), the city/mayor does NOTHING. How much money have we spent in studies? Would be interesting to find out. Perhaps that money could have been put towards fixing just ONE of those problems.


  9. Watch out fox, more excuses on the way, God knows what this flood will do to the creative ability of this city officials to come up with creative and magical excuses? I challenge them to come up with one solution and follow up on it and complete it in time as planned. Just one solution no matter how insignificant it is and no matter how small the positive impacts are. Just announce publicly one solution then announce publicly periodically the progress and then the completion.

    Just one solution Mr. council chairman! And keep adding excuses to DH bank of excuses, This city has a healthy and wealthy balance sheet of variety of colorful excuses.


  10. I know I am not going to pay any more taxes. I am tired of giving Wade Trim all my money for no answers. I am tired of all the lies from the Mayor just so you shut up and go away. There is no secret here and it doesn’t take a CPA to figure it out , our money is going for some things that just don’t happen. We have lost funding for different things in the past because the administration can’t follow the rules, or turn in the paper work on time. I just smell cover up cover up cover up…..


  11. Another study into the wind. More money spent with no results to fix the problem the study identified. More excuses. Does anyone know – if you want to run for office, do you have to take Excuses 101?


  12. the last I heard him say that he wanted to take so many houses away along the creek and widen the creek ,have a nice walk way for bikers and people to walk around. I don’t want to walk along that filthy creek and smell it either. The county never clean the river anymore there are trees in there garbage everything you can have floating down . people throw leaves and grass in there ,logs twigs anything you can think of. Years ago the creek would get dredged out and what a difference it made. I have a lot of information about all of this but no one wants to hear it.I have spoken with DPW and county and how fast their has failed them.


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