Vehicles abandoned on Detroit area roads after heavy rain

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency on Saturday

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Heavy rains in the Detroit metropolitan area on Friday and Saturday caused flooding on several local freeways, prompting drivers to abandon their vehicles.

Garden City, Michigan received over 6.6 inches of rainfall during the storm, according to an Iowa State University storm tracker. 6.5 inches fell in Grosse Pointe, and 4.4 inches in Bloomfield Hills, per the tracker. The National Weather Service reported 2.37 inches of rainfall in Detroit.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Saturday in response to flooding and other damage caused by the storm, including several power outages and sewer backups.

“We are continuing to work closely with emergency response coordinators and local leaders across the state to address widespread flooding,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The State Operations Center has been activated to coordinate our state’s response as we rush resources to affected areas, and the state of emergency declaration will help counties access even greater assistance.” 

The Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan State Police are responding to several freeway closures, with first responders searching abandoned vehicles for stranded motorists. Also assessing the storm’s impacts are the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, City of Detroit Department of Public Works, General Services Department, and more.

The city of Detroit has established an emergency hotline for residents to report damaged property due to flooding. Residents can also use that hotline to make claims for reimbursement once disaster relief funds are made available. Those that have been impacted by the flooding can call 313-267-8000.

The Michigan State Emergency Operations Center has also been activated to aid those impacted by flooding. Residents in need of assistance or resources related to flooding can call 211 or visit mi211.org. Further resources are available here.

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw advised motorists to avoid freeways until the flooding clears.

“It only takes about 6 inches of water to knock a person down,” Shaw told the Detroit Free Press on Saturday. “If you’re out there, and you come across some standing water, turn around.”

Michigan State Police Metro Detroit is providing updates via their Twitter account, @mspmetrodet. Early Saturday morning they posted photos of flooding on I-94 and Trumbull, and instructed stranded drivers to call emergency services.

“ALL freeways in Wayne County still have flooding issues and those freeways where water has receded is now littered with abandoned vehicles,” MSP wrote in a tweet. “If you are stranded and called 911, we will get to you. Please don’t continue to call for an ETA as it is overloading the system.”

Showers are expected to continue throughout metro Detroit until next Friday, Jul. 2, according to the National Weather Service. 

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