DETROIT (AP) – The board for a regional water authority has approved the selection of engineering firms that will look at system operations during heavy rainstorms that left thousands of basements and dozens of streets flooded in the Detroit area.

FILE – In this Saturday, June 26, 2021, file photo, a sign warns of high water in a Detroit neighborhood. A regional water authority board has formed a committee to look at the agency’s response to last month’s heavy rainfall that led to basement and street flooding in Detroit and some surrounding suburbs. (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP)

Global infrastructure consulting firm AECOM and consulting engineering firm Applied Science Inc. will conduct what the Great Lakes Water Authority board calls an “independent and transparent review” of a June 25-26 storm that dumped more than 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of rain in a short period and another storm on July 16.

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The board also selected local attorney Jeffrey Collins as legal representation.

The water authority board said Wednesday that the review is expected to take 60 to 90 days to complete and will assess the operational challenges and power supply concerns related to pump stations.

Authority Chief Executive Sue McCormick told reporters several days after the late June storm that two water pumping stations in Detroit experienced power-related problems but did not fail. McCormick added that due to an electrical service issue, only three of six pumps at one station were able to be brought online, while a power outage at a second station slowed efforts to turn three of its pumps on as the rain poured.

President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for Michigan due to the June flooding. The July 16 storm also caused flooding in some basements and on streets.

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The Great Lakes Water Authority provides drinking water and wastewater services to about 88 communities. Its board includes representatives from Detroit and several surrounding counties.

Candice Miller, public works commissioner in neighboring Macomb County, had called for an independent investigation, saying there appeared to be a management failure at one of the pump stations.

On Wednesday, McCormick formerly submitted her resignation to the board. McCormick said earlier this week that she would step down but didn’t cite the June flooding as the reason for her departure.

According to the authority, the board is discussing the process of appointing an interim chief executive and conducting a national search for its next chief executive.

Miller said that with McCormick’s resignation, the water authority “has an opportunity now to do a nationwide search for an operational expert who can get the most out of existing infrastructure assets and advocate for the investment needed to position our region properly for the future.”

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