Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 2, 2013

No damage from heavy rains this time

TRAVERSE CITY— A recent pounding rainstorm caused Kids Creek at Munson Medical Center to once again rush past steel sheet piling and flow into an empty stream bed.

There was no damage or fallout from last week's rainstorm that dumped more than 2 inches on the region in a day, but the same couldn't be said about a July thunderstorm. That's when basements flooded at two homes just east of the Kids Creek restoration project.

Heavy rain revealed a construction flaw in the $2 million creek project that will transform the existing 900-foot straight channel into a natural, 1,275-foot meandering stream bordered by native plants and trees.

Mike Kramer said his basement was cleaned compliments of the Kids Creek contractor, who accepted responsibility. Munson officials also housed him for free for about 20 days at Munson Manor Hospitality House.

"Munson and the contractor stepped up to the table and made things right,” said Kramer. "I know things happen, and they’re making it good for me."

After the July rainstorm nearly a dozen workers arrived at the scene. It took some time to figure out what happened, Kramer said.

"(Munson employee) Scott LaBonte was standing there in the alley and said, 'This doesn’t make sense.'" Kramer said. "He walked about 20 yards from a manhole cover to the creek, and he could see a valley of where the water was going to and he looked down and he said, "Here’s your problem.' There was an open sewer pipe that they missed capping. And water ran right in there; three inches of water went into my basement, plus this black mud silt sludge."

The sanitary pipeline may have served a former building razed to make room for the new cancer center and creek. Workers cut off the sanitary pipeline and filled it with concrete so it wouldn't happen again, Kramer said.

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