Metro Detroit recovered quickly from the record shattering amount of rain that fell in just 3 hours Monday evening during the start of rush hour traffic when between 5 and 6 inches of rain fell, flooding Detroit and area suburbs. There were fears that when the flood water receded that immense damage would be found on area roads following the flood, thankfully none was found.
By Wednesday evening all freeways were fully operational again, once again showing how resilient Detroit is. There had been fears that several freeways would remain closed as long as Friday, but the Governor stepped up as well as the Michigan Division of Transportation in clearing away debris, mud and pumping out water in the effected areas. According to Michigan Division of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross “We’ve been pretty fortunate, simply because the potential for damage was very higher,” Diane Cross also stated that “We’re really lucky to say we have not discovered those difficulties on any of our freeways.” She also stated that the delay came from the failure of local pumping stations, which are located along major thruways throughout the entire state. It is suspected at the present time that the failure of many of these pumping stations may have been due to copper thefts from the poorly secured and poorly lit pumping station areas. Other pump stations while functioning simply pumped the water to locations that the water would simply travel right back to the effected freeways, while other pump stations generators simply gave out or could not handle the sheer volume of water, especially in areas that received the full 6 inches of rain. Had it not been for the failures at some pumping stations, many of the flooded freeways would have been fully operation by Tuesday.
While the shape of the area roads improved greatly, thousands of home owners are facing a flooding problem of a different type, that of flooded basements. Some homeowners have 6 feet of water in there basements. Many home owners are still without power, so sump pumps and the like are of no help in reliving the flooded out home owners. As of tuesday, 17,000 customers were without power and no estimate of when their power would be restored. Local water damage and flood water clean up specialists are out in full force, providing there essential services to beleaguered property owners in the area. Thanks to portable generators, portable pumps and truck mounted water extraction equipment some home owners are finally getting the water out of their homes. City leaders are trying to come with ways to prevent another storm of a different nature from striking residents, an impending financial storm that could effect the city already struggling with bankruptcy. Local governments are asking Gov. Rick Snyder to declare a state of emergency so that full federal and state funds can be allocated freely towards helping the rain stricken communities recovery efforts. According to Sara Wurfel, Gov Snyder’s spokeswoman, the Governor’s office will not declare a state of emergency until they get a better scope of the damage effecting Metro Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. if a state of a emergency finally does get declared, President Obama could issue a major disaster declaration and provide direct federal assistance for repairing infrastructure, pumping stations and assistance to homeowners with damaged properties from the storm.