Vehicles stuck on flooded Detroit freeways after torrential downpour
Heavy rain pounded metro Detroit Friday night, leaving freeways littered with vehicles and sending water into basements.
Photos and videos posted to social media showed dozens of vehicles stuck in high waters after the torrential rain flooded streets.
In several images shared on Facebook, a semitruck and other cars were stranded on the roadway. A photo posted on Twitter showed water almost up to the windows of an abandoned car on a freeway near Trumbull Avenue.
“Hard to believe I can just walk out on the freeway,” the person who shared the photo wrote in a tweet.
Michigan State Police said that it had dive teams out making sure that there wasn’t anyone trapped in the vehicles.
Gary Brown, the director of Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department, warned drivers not to travel down flooded streets.
He said it was predicted that the city would get close to two inches of rain Friday night, but nearly seven inches fell.
“The intensity of these storms exceeded the design standards for pump stations and combined sewer overflow facilities serving the Detroit region,” Brown said at a press conference on Saturday.
There was so much rain that there was nowhere for the water to go, he explained, other than flooding streets and basements.
Brown estimated that hundreds, maybe thousands, of residents are experiencing flooding in their basements and sewer backups.
“Severe weather is expected across southeast Michigan throughout the weekend,” DTE Energy said on its website, adding that more than 32,000 customers were without power as of Saturday afternoon.
Between one inch and two inches of rain may fall in spots before Saturday ends, according to NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit.
“DTE damage assessors and crews have been dispatched and will be working around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” the utility said.
On Saturday afternoon, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County because of the flooding.
“We’ve overcome tremendous challenges this year because Michiganders are a tough people who know that we are all in this together,” she said in a statement.