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What To Do When Storms Wreak Havoc

*Note: With severe storms and flooding predicted for Southeastern Michigan on Monday, August 8, 2022, Bloomfield Township is running the below article originally published in the Summer 2021 Newsletter.

Recent summer storms have wreaked havoc on township residents, causing flooding, sewer backups and power losses. On Friday, June 25, record-setting rain fell, measuring over four inches in the southwest portion of the Township. That evening, the police received 275 calls for service. Two weeks later, on July 7, an afternoon storm knocked out power for many residents for as long as five days. In a 24-hour period, the fire department responded to 71 storm-related incidents, 51 of which involved downed power lines or trees. The good news is that Bloomfield Township Police and Fire were well prepared and could effectively respond to all calls for service. The bad news is that many township residents struggled to find the correct resource to help fix a problem related to the storm, such as a flooded basement or having power restored to their home.

In most scenarios, the township does not own the infrastructure related to a flood, stormwater backup or power outage; hence we can’t directly fix these problems. However, we remain committed to helping facilitate solutions or pointing residents in the proper direction to fix these problems when they occur. Below are a number of resources and contacts to guide residents through specific scenarios in the event of a storm.

First, if any situation presents a danger to your home and family or a medical emergency arises, call 911. There are some things the police cannot do, such as restore power to your home; nor can the township force DTE to prioritize their response to a power outage.

My yard is flooded, who fixes it?

Drainage systems within the Township are likely owned and maintained by one of the following three entities:

1) Oakland County Water Resource Commission (OCWRC). A county drain can be an open ditch, stream or underground pipe. It also could be a detention pond or swale that conveys storm water.
2) Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). Some drains, including roadside ditches, pipes and culverts under roads are maintained by the Road Commission for Oakland County.
3) Private drains that are not county drains or along roads are likely the responsibility of individual property owners or the Homeowners Association (HOA). Call 248-594-2800 for a checklist and survey form for property owners on how to maintain detention basins.

I have water and/or sewage coming up through a drain in my house, who do I contact? The Water Emergency line: 248-433-7730. You will reach DPW staff during business hours or Police Dispatch during evening/weekend hours. A Water & Sewer employee will be sent to determine if the backup is being caused by a blockage in the public sewer main or the homeowner’s private sewer lead. If it’s found that the public sewer main is not blocked and still flowing, then the cause is likely a blockage of the homeowner’s private sewer lead and the homeowner will be responsible to call a plumber to correct the issue.

My street is flooded, who fixes it? Storm water draining along the Township’s road systems is the responsibility of the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). The Township does not own or maintain the storm drains along the roads. Call RCOC at 248-858-4804.

There’s a tree blocking and/or partially in the roadway, what do I do? Call 911. A tree blocking a roadway is a safety hazard and needs to be cleared from the traffic lanes as soon as possible. All trees in the road right-of-way are the responsibility of the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC). However, during large storms, Township DPW crews often assist to remove the hazard out of the roadways and over to the side of the road to ensure public safety. RCOC is ultimately responsible for the future cleanup of these downed tree sites.

There’s a downed power line in my neighborhood, who do I contact? DTE 1-800-477-4747

There’s a tree branch in my yard, how do I get it removed? A fallen tree or branch that is not obstructing a roadway is not a public safety issue and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to clear it. Cut, bundle and prepare it for your regular yard waste pickup or hire a private contractor to remove it.


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