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Residents relieved after city of Flint resolves 20-year flooding issue near “Devil’s Lake”

Storm drain failure was result of pileup of debris like large branches, trash, and old toys
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Flint Park Lake on Flint’s north side is better as “Devil’s Lake” for those who live near it.

Some of them know they’re living on the stomping grounds of a former amusement park, but right now, that’s not what they care most about.

“The water. I mean it just comes up there and stuff, and it just be a mess,” Shirley Ward said.

Michael Davis added, “I had four foot of water in my basement every time it rains.”

For the last twenty years or so, people living on Winthrop Blvd in Flint off of Pierson Road near Dupont know that when it rains, it pours.

“It’s just been so much flooding down here and everything. The water would come all the way up to the sidewalk,” Ward said.

It’s a problem that’s stumped even the city’s Sewer Supervisor. Entrice “Jiggy” Mitchell says he’s been trying to figure this out for the past four years.

In September of 2021, that all changed.

“Luckily, we stumbled upon a vault that let us access the bottom of the where we were able to access where all the debris was and we were able to pull out a lot of debris, and that’s why it’s down now,” Mitchell said.

While working on another storm line, his crew discovered a pileup of debris like you’ve never seen like large branches, trash, old toys, and even a beaver. For him, however, it was like finding lost treasure.

When that sits there, the water couldn’t flow, causing a massive buildup.

The city spent weeks clearing up the debris, scraping the gutter pan, and installing new systems to help with better flow.

Residents are feeling a huge sense of relief these past couple of weeks after not seeing any flooding waters taking over their streets.

“So far so good. No water sitting on Winthrop or nothing. No water,” Ward said.

“This feel good because everything in my basement was trashed last year and the year before than and the year before that. It’s been going on for too many years, and I’m glad they’re doing something about it right now,” Davis added.

Mitchell tells ABC12 they’ll be checking this quarterly to make sure this buildup that happened never happens again.

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