Detroit-area residents frustrated by flood debris
Jul 21, 2015 at 2:59 PM
Sarah Mountain, 32, said she and her family are staying inside their Huntington Woods home "because it is so unhealthy outside."
Bacteria and mold can grow in flood-damaged furniture and carpeting.
"Trash is piled high in front (of) my house, rats are digging through my garbage, along with scrappers," Mountain told the Detroit Free Press.
Garbage haulers have struggled to keep up since the historic Aug. 11 rainstorm.
"We've got a lot of overtime, and the volumes of those communities have been staggering," said Joe Munem, spokesman for Rizzo Environmental Services, which picks up trash in Madison Heights and Royal Oak.
Even in spots where haulers have made progress, new trash piles have popped up as additional flood-damaged material is removed from basements.
Warren, where thousands of homes were damaged, hauls its own trash. Mayor Jim Fouts said $100,000 has been spent on overtime dealing with the cleanup.
"The citizens of Warren have already undergone enough stress in their lives," Fouts said. "They don't need to stare at all the junk in front of their yards."
In Wayne County, the abundance of garbage has forced a municipal solid waste landfill facility in Riverview to extend its hours, City Manager Douglas Drysdale told The Detroit News.
Riverview owns and operates the landfill, which is used by 14 neighboring communities.
The Riverview Land Preserve usually is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Since the flood, it has been staying open to about 6 p.m. weekdays, Drysdale said.
Michigan got word of some federal aid Wednesday with the announcement of a $750,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant for road repairs and reconstruction. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced the assistance.
Levin said the money "will help the process of repairing the damage to our roads and highways." He said he and Stabenow "will continue working with other agencies for additional assistance to help everyone get back on track."