Flooding at Grosse Pointe Woods City Hall causes closures

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 5, 2019

 Notes that Grosse Pointe Woods City Hall would be closed because of flooding are posted to the door March 3.

Notes that Grosse Pointe Woods City Hall would be closed because of flooding are posted to the door March 3.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe Woods city officials believe a poorly installed plumbing fixture is responsible for the flooding that occurred at the City Hall municipal complex building over the weekend.

At 10:26 a.m. March 3, city officials sent an email blast to inform residents that the complex, except for the court offices, would be closed March 4 due to flooding. Offices also were closed March 5.

The email stated that phone lines were down at the City Hall municipal complex, the Department of Public Works and Lake Front Park. Information about the flooding also was shared at www.Nixle.com. The City Hall complex is located at 20025 Mack Plaza Drive.

“It appears a plumbing fixture wasn’t connected properly and it gave way,” City Administrator Bruce Smith said. “The fixture was installed with our new heating and cooling system.”

In the last several months, the City Hall building has been undergoing roof renovations, which included new heating and cooling ventilation in the attic where the plumbing fixture was located.

“The business office for (the) City Hall portion is what flooded. We had a good inch of water on the floor,” Smith said. “Two layers of ceiling came down in my office. There was water damage from leaks up above (because) the plumbing fixture is in the attic.”

While they aren’t exactly sure, city officials suspect the flooding began at 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Smith said that at about 7:30 a.m., the phones were down at the public safety building and also at City Hall.

“The water ran down into the basement and damaged our phone system,” Smith said.

A public safety officer making rounds noticed the flooding Sunday morning.

“The community center and the Public Safety Department are intact,” Smith said.

In addition, the flooding did not affect the Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court, but it did reach the hallway outside the courtroom.

Because of the water damage, city officials will set up temporary trailers on the circle drive in front of City Hall to conduct business. Employees will move their work from the City Hall building to the trailers. However, that won’t happen immediately. At press time, employees weren’t allowed to go into the building until it was determined to be safe to enter. Testing was being done to get authorization before people could go inside the complex.

“We have to get clearance to make sure there is nothing hazardous, specifically asbestos,” Smith said. “We’re waiting to hear the results. We can’t go in there until we get the all-clear.”

Smith predicts it will take six to eight weeks to fix the damage inside.

“Some drywall and carpeting will need to be replaced,” Smith said. “Walls will have to be painted.”

As city officials and crews work to address the problem, updates to residents about the flooding will be sent via email blasts and through Nixle.

Crews from various entities, including DTE Energy and Greener Method Cleaning & Restoration Services, have been on-site since the flooding was discovered.

Because of the flooding, all city meetings scheduled for March 4 were canceled. That included meetings of the City Council, the Judicial Liaison Committee and the Compensation & Evaluation Committee. At press time, new meeting dates had not yet been posted.

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