Flooding problems in Waterford create division among neighbors

Flooding problems in Waterford
Posted at 3:34 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 18:25:44-04

(WXYZ) — For years, we’ve been reporting on homeowners in Waterford fed up with unresolved flooding problems in their neighborhood.

Aging infrastructure and lack of upkeep have been identified as just some of the causes.

After hearing about new flooding issues in Waterford today, we contacted the road commission and got results, and we also got a sense of why a permanent fix hasn’t come easily.

John Casey lives along Forest Avenue, near Watkins Lake.

“The concern is just ongoing issues for school children and busses. For the community. This is a bus route. Children walk to school and walk through this mess,” says Casey.

We first visited the area back in 2018 and again in 2019. We found that the private street dating back to the 20s was actually updated with cleaner and expanded catch basins, after our reporting.

“After working with them, we went in and dug those holes and cleaned them out — made them deeper to retain more water and drain better. It’s still not an ideal solution. The ideal solution is a drain down to the lake to drain water down to the lake,” says Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County.

Yet, one problem remains. Bryson says a divided homeowners association is preventing more work from being done on a private street.

“We can’t build a drain on private property. The homeowners association would have to give us a permanent easement. They haven’t been able to do that. We understand their frustration and share that,” says Bryson. He adds that costs would be shared.

While John Casey supports the project, neighbor John Helmut does not. He points to other concerns that include “Oil. Rubber. Other bacteria and stuff like that. People want to go ahead and throw it into the lake.”

Today, the RCOC confirms they plan to clean and perform maintenance again at the site within days.

Aside from that, attention turns back to how the HOA can reach a unanimous decision needed to move forward with further action.

We’ll be monitoring progress including how the homeowners association handles this issue, in the weeks to come.