High Water Preparedness

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Reports from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicate that the water level in Lake St. Clair will equal or exceed the 2019 levels. It is essential that residents who live along the lake and on the canals be vigilant about protecting their property and their neighbor’s property from water damage. High water levels can also cause road and basement flooding throughout the City.

Use this webpage as a resource guide. It includes information about the correct way to build a sandbag barrier and what you can do if damage does occur. You can also check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about high water preparedness.

Audio of MI Virtual High Water Town Hall, 3/26/2020

NO PERMIT NEEDED

Top QA pix

#1. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING MY PROPERTY FROM HIGH WATER  DAMAGE?
According to Ordinance 35-013 14, the owner of riparian (waterfront) property is the one required to provide an adequate barrier, dike, or other embankments (including sandbags) to protect against the rising water, the overflow of water and/or flooding.

The City can assist the property owner by providing locations to pick up sandbags and sand for residents to build a sandbag barrier on their property. The Army Corps of Engineers will provide recommendations regarding the construction and location of sandbag, crib, or berm placement on your property. To schedule an Army Corp consultation, please contact Ken Blankenship in the City’s Community Development Department (CDI) at 586-447-3362. No evaluation or opinion on seawall construction, placements, or height will be provided.

#2DO I HAVE TO SANDBAG MY PROPERTY? 
First, look at the Lake St. Clair Lake Level at Current Lake St. Clair Lake Level
Second, measure the clearance from the water to the connected high ground on your property.
Now keep in mind the Army Corps of Engineersforecast indicates the lake could go as high as 578.1 ft.

 The Army Corps of Engineers recommends property owners on the canals provide adequate protection 18 inches above the current lake level. If your property is on the lake subject to wave action, then the recommendation is to provide 36 inches above the current lake level. 
If the lake level rises to 578.1, determine the high ground on your property that should be connected to achieve the recommended barrier.

If the rising waters and waves are going to potentially breach your seawall, berm, or any other waterfront barrier, "yes," you must sandbag your property. If not, then "no," you do not have to sandbag your property.

The City strongly advises residents to take into account the forecast levels and build an adequate sandbag barrier before high water occurs. It is much easier to install the barrier on dry ground.

#3. WILL THE CITY BUILD AN ADEQUATE SANDBAG BARRIER ON MY PROPERTY  FOR ME? 
No. The City does not have the resources to build sandbag barriers as a service for residents. Keep in mind if the City performs the work, the bill will be much higher than the cost to a property owner to arrange for the installation him/herself beforehand.

#4. IS THERE A TIMELINE OR DEADLINE TO PROTECT MY PROPERTY? 
There is not an "official" deadline before the City takes action against home or business owners who do not adequately protect their property from high water levels. However, failure to provide adequate protection may result in flooding. If a breach affects neighboring property or goes out into the street, the City will take corrective action and bill the responsible property owner(s)/.

The City strongly advises residents to take into account the forecast levels and build an adequate sandbag barrier before high water occurs. It is much easier to install the barrier on dry ground.

#5. I BUILT AN ADEQUATE BARRIER TO MY PROPERTY, BUT MY NEIGHBOR DID NOT. NOW THERE IS WATER COMING OVER TO MY PROPERTY FROM MY NEIGHBOR’S YARD.  IS THE CITY RESPONSIBLE WHEN WATER FROM MY NEIGHBOR’S PROPERTY CAUSES DAMAGE TO MY PROPERTY?
No, ultimately it is your responsibility to work with your neighbor to ensure that water does not flow through your property onto your neighbor’s property or into the street; otherwise, the City must take action to stop the flow of water. If the City must perform this work on private property, the City will bill the property owner(s). 

CHECK OUT MORE "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS"

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLOOD INSURANCE: 
No matter where you live or work. No matter how much you try to protect your property from flooding. Some risk of flooding always exists. So, what do you do if you faced with damage from a flooded home? Take a look at the resources below to give your home more protection.

FLOOflooded-basement-1024x682 Opens in new windowD INSURANCE VS DISASTER ASSISTANCE       

FACT SHEET: EVERYONE NEEDS FLOOD INSURANCE

FAQ: GREAT LAKES NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM