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Drivers Rescued From Vehicles After Water Main Break Floods Gratiot Avenue

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Stranded drivers were rescued from their vehicles after a water main break flooded Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Stranded drivers were rescued from their vehicles after a water main break flooded Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A number of cars, SUVs and even a fire truck have gotten stuck in a huge water main break on Detroit’s east side.

The water main break happened early Friday morning on Gratiot Avenue, completely flooding the road between Connor Street and French Road.

The water is so deep, construction front-loaders were brought in to rescue stranded motorists from their vehicles. Firefighters said at one point, the water was flowing over the brim of their high boots.

Shemika Brown said she was driving home from work when she almost became stuck in the flood.

“I threw my car in reverse and luckily I got out but as you can see, there’s cars to my left and right that are stuck. It’s bad out here, SUVs, cars, trucks, minivans, everyone’s stuck in this mess,” she said.


Raw video shows vehicles nearly frozen in the street.

Darryl Latimer, Deputy Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, said they’re dealing with a 16-inch water main. He said crews are quickly working to shut the water main off before they can deal with the massive amount of water flooding the streets.

“Once we isolate the valves, we’re going to make a determination if it’s going to disrupt water service. If it does disrupt water service in this area, we’ll let the residents know and give them an estimated time for how long the water may be off,” he said.

Reporting live from the scene, WWJ’s Mike Campbell said a layer of steam is rising off the flooded road because the water is actually warmer than the single digit air temperature.

Latimer said they are working against the clock when it comes to the water freezing over, and they might not be able to remove the stranded vehicles in time.

No injuries have been reported.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.

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