Elba Township flooding problems

Published: May. 5, 2017 at 6:01 PM EDT
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(05/05/17) - It's a problem some Mid-Michigan homeowners have been dealing with for more than a decade, but with so much rain since the beginning of spring, homes are now being threatened and there's no relief in sight.

A homeowner says he's frustrated that nothing has been done to eliminate the lake in his yard.

With rainfall 4-5 inches above normal since March 1, it's not unusual to see flooded fields and backyards, but now the problem has gotten worse.

Homeowners along West Genesee Road in Elba Township are doing what they can to keep water out of their houses - a problem that's been getting worse, especially the past several years.

"It's gotten to the point where it's killing trees and I've got two pumps running in my basement, and all I'm doing is pumping the water out and it's returning back in as fast as I pump it out," said Elba Township resident Rusty Sampsel.

Clogged storm drains appear to be an issue, backing up the water. Yet, Sampsel says for him and his neighbors, it's a losing battle since they're not getting any assistance to help deal with the problem.

"That drain from the north side of the old road to the south side of the old road is plugged and it's right along the railroad track right-of-way,” he said. “And the railroad, there's an old drain underneath that, that appears to be plugged, and they don't want to open the drain under the road until there's a place for the water to go once it gets to the railroad."

People are even using sandbags to try to keep the water out and save their homes and property.

There are other concerns as well, like septic systems leaching into homeowners’ wells.

As far as getting rid of the water, Sampsel thinks it shouldn't be too difficult.

"It's a pretty simple solution if they just get a drain under the railroad, and get a drain under the old road, the water goes down and it's all good,” he said.

A spokesperson from Canadian National says the railroad has talked with Elba Township and Lapeer County officials and is offering their help to find a solution to the flooding.

Calls to the Lapeer County Drain Commission were not returned as of late Friday afternoon.