I-94 in Detroit closed due to flooding again

Jose Castro – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Detroit, MI, United States (4E) – Just two weeks ago, the Interstate 94 in Detroit was awash with water as floods from torrential downpour overcame this major artery. This time, about two inches of rain was enough to again flood the freeway. Because of the flooding, the road has been closed in several areas, according to reports coming from the Metro Detroit Department of Transportation.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm carried winds reaching 60 mph at Canton Township in Wayne County, a suburb of Detroit. The same wind speed was recorded at Pittsfield Township at Washtenaw County near Ann Arbor.

It was also reported that a tree measuring about 2 feet in diameter fell in Redford, another suburb of Detroit. There is also an ongoing investigation at Taylor as to a lightning strike that caused a fire in a Taylor Woods apartment complex. The power situation in metro Detroit was also affected as the new storm seemed like déjà vu of early August storms. About 120,000 DTE subscribers were without electricity Tuesday night. The highest number was at 160,000, as confirmed by DTE spokesperson Erica Donerson.

Restoration services were delayed, as crews scrambled through 16 hour shifts to decrease the DTE power grid loss.

While recovery and restoration activities were ongoing, a team comprising state, city and federal officers had begun assessing the flood damage in metro Detroit. This is in preparation for a state request for the release of federal aid for flooded victims. This comes after Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he urged the residents of Detroit to ‘report losses to their local government as soon as possible.’

Snyder further urged, “Photograph your losses and keep all receipts of payments for repairs and replacement items.”

The assessment comes as flooding and backed up sewage was reported in about a dozen areas. In a report by local officials, about one third of homes in Warren County, 40% of homes in Dearborn and 75% in Huntington Woods had flood damage.

At the height of the disaster, US Rep. Sander Levin and US Sen. Debbie Stabenow had made calls to local officials, such as Huntington Woods Mayor Ron Gillham. The calls from the legislators occurred as Gillham himself was flooded, with two feet of water in his own basement.

Should federal aid be released, much of it would go into the repair of infrastructure. This is being criticized as residents expect some form of help because of the losses they had sustained in their very own homes.

The main artery of Detroit, the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-94 were flooded. Roadblocks were set up from the Lodge Freeway up until I-75 during rush hour traffic. These road blocks were reopened late evening as the floodwaters receded.

In Farmington Hills, its residents were rerouted from Farmington Road between 10 and 11 Mile as well as 13 and 1 Mile due to uprooted trees impeding the roadway. Just two weeks ago, about seven inches of rain poured into Metro Detroit leaving about 34,000 homes and other buildings flooded. The estimated cost of the flooding, using insurance figures, would reach USD1.2 billion.

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