Detroit-area water leader quits weeks after flooding

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DETROIT (AP) – The head of a regional water agency in southeast Michigan said on Tuesday she would step down, weeks after thousands of homes were destroyed by sewer backups during a huge storm.

Sue McCormick did not cite the June 25-26 flooding as the reason for her departure, although the controversy clearly tarnished the Great Lakes Water Authority. She said she was considering retiring.

“While I am extremely proud of everything the GLWA team has accomplished in their first five years, I also recognize that now is the time for me to make my future intentions public as we all move forward,” said McCormick.

A meeting of the agency’s board of directors was scheduled for Wednesday.

Power outages at pumping stations were blamed on backing water and sewage into basements in Detroit and many suburbs during a storm that dropped more than 0.15 meters of rain in a short period at the end of June.

McCormick, however, said she didn’t think the flooding could have been avoided due to the extraordinary storm. An investigation is underway.

The Detroit News reported On Monday, the power was cut at a pumping station two days before the storm. McCormick told Detroit City Council on Tuesday that none of the executives knew about it.

“I just think there were a lot of challenges along the way. Let’s just say I think she made the appropriate decision, ”Macomb County Director Mark Hackel said of McCormick’s resignation.

GLWA, which is led by representatives from Detroit and surrounding counties, was born out of the Detroit bankruptcy. It provides water to nearly 40% of Michigan residents as well as sanitation services.

McCormick was the head of the Detroit water department before leading the GLWA.


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