DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Following a third devastating flood in less than a decade, Mayor Bill Bazzi said he will do whatever he can to help.
During a special Council meeting scheduled on Monday to address Act 345 funding, Clerk Lynne Senia mentioned that every time it rains, she has to cover the clerk’s office in plastic due to the roof leaking, for which the City Council had approved a roof replacement last December.
At the time of approval, it was noted that it would be scheduled once the weather broke, but Bazzi said there were flaws in the contract and he has not heard back from the contractor to resolve them and that he hopes to have more information by the next City Council meeting.
We are having difficulty finding volunteers for clean up efforts, which is another reason why we are seeking help from the National Guard – Mayor Bill Bazzi
While more than 1,200 homes have been reported as being impacted by the flood, Bazzi said that the city is struggling with finding volunteers to help.
“With residents still being cautious over COVID-19, they have asked if the volunteers are vetted,” he said. “But when we try to vet the volunteers they are saying they just want to help and shouldn’t be vetted, so we are having difficulty finding volunteers for clean up efforts, which is another reason why we are seeking help from the National Guard.”
GFL will be collecting the damaged material at the curb, but the city’s DPW Department doesn’t have the right size equipment or enough staff to collect the damaged material themselves.
Governor Whitmer visited City Hall on Monday to assess the damage in the city as well.
“This has been a challenging time and I know I have said that many times over the last year and a half, but there’s no question that we’ve been through a lot,” she said. “This I know has been devastating for so many homeowners and business owners. The mayor and his team and the first responders, I’m so grateful for the work that they’re doing; we are working in a coordinated fashion and working with our local leaders as well as our federal leaders. We know that the first step is declaring a disaster, an emergency declaration, which is what I did this past weekend. That is how we start the process moving forward.”
Whitmer also said they are encouraging residents to document everything, take pictures, keep receipts and keep all of the information available.
“We are going to stay connected and work very closely together,” she said. “Thank you for being so strong and your fortitude and resilience. We will get through this together.”
Bazzi said that the city is doing everything it can right now to help residents.
“We have Red Cross clean up kits at both Canfield and Richard A. Young Centers available for residents,” he said. “We also have information on our website under the CDBG page for loans that may be available to those who are eligible. As we know many people might not have access to the city’s website or Facebook page, we do have survey assessment forms available at City Hall and will be mailing them to every resident as well in the coming days.”
Bazzi also said that Dearborn Heights is strong and that with each other, the community can overcome anything.
“I am using all resources available to find solutions to help our residents,” he said. “I know Dearborn Heights residents, they’re tough. They have gone through a lot in past years. I am here for the residents and I am doing everything I can for the residents. I am doing everything I can to lessen the burden and lessen the stress that they have.”
Anyone in need of a survey assessment form is encouraged to visit the city’s website at www.ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us/.