Torrential storms over the last 24 hours has left many cities in Michigan in a state of emergency, and at least one city has called for help from the National Guard. With hundreds of cars and motorists stranded, the freeways look as if a hurricane hit, when in reality the rain came so fast and so hard that many got caught in the flooding during the evening commute as they were trying to get home from work on August 11, 2014.
Warren, Michigan was submerged and took a direct assault from the storm, with many drivers abandoning their vehicles while others stayed with their cars. Police were seen rescuing people by canoes on the freeways, while others that fled to higher ground found themselves stranded as well. Over 600 people were reportedly rescued and moved to higher ground in the Warren area alone, not counting the hundreds which were stranded in the Detroit area.
Two deaths have been reported as related to this storm, one was a 100-year-old woman in Metro Detroit who was found in the basement of her flooded home. The woman’s daughter found her mother, who had apparently died of drowning. The second was a young woman who became upset when stranded in her vehicle and went into seizures and passed out.
Detroit Michigan and its outlying suburbs are reporting as many as 1,000 abandoned vehicles, some with and some without people. Many of these vehicles are on busy freeways, which will be closed for days as clean up commences, and the vehicles are removed.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts stated this is the worst rain fall he has seen. Also contributing to the damage the massive amounts of rain brought are sewers that are backing up, as they cannot keep up with the flow. Roads are still closed all around the city, and sink holes are popping up due to the weight of the standing water. All police, fire and public works employee’s are working around the clock to help in the rescue and clean up of this mess.
The video below shows some of the devastation and the terror one must feel when stranded in water. Less than 24 hours after the rainfall, even more rain was predicted, and storms ripped through the same neighborhoods which were still trying to dig out from the first set of storms. Michigan is calling for help from the government as abandoned cars fill the freeways, and the structural integrity of many bridges and overpasses are in question.
Along with the all too apparent damages, homeowners throughout Metro Detroit and the outlying suburbs are trying to save what they can from flooded basements. As the waters slowly recede, there is an abundance of refuse and dirt clogging streets and gutters, and homeowners can be seen all over the city trying to free up the sewer grates to allow the water to drain.
Many communities had closings of businesses, community colleges, day care facilities and more. With no end in sight and rain still on the radar, it is almost certain that Michigan will need some help to dig out and clean up after two days of rain, and more being predicted to come.
By Kristi Cereska