Metro Detroit Residents Cope With Flooded Homes, Streets
(WWJ) — Torrential rains rocked most of Metro Detroit on Monday evening, flooding streets and leaving many residents to deal with damaged basements.
From Royal Oak to Downriver, homeowners have reported in droves that their basements have withstood a few inches to a few feet worth of floodwater.
Joe Attard of Southgate lives in the area of Northline and Fort Street and said that he measured 22 inches of water in the basement.
“Our basement was built to look like a 50’s diner — a jukebox, pinball machine, our home entertainment center” Attard said. “We basically live in our basement — everybody does Downriver.”
Attard said that his basement is a mess and that his family has been through this before, with his basement flooding back in 2000.
“Our streets started flooding and then we noticed that we had rumbling in our basement from the toilets and the sewer drain,” Attard said. “Within five minutes, water started shooting up out of the toilet and the sewer drain — it kept going and going.”
Royal Oak Police said that they’ve received hundreds of calls reporting flooded basements. WWJ’s Laura Bonnell reported that many homes in Royal Oak have succumbed to the rising waters.
“I know of at least three of my neighbors whose basements have at least four inches of rain water right now,” Bonnell said.
Bonnell added that people in their vehicles — driving through inches of water — raced down streets, even running through stop signs to get through the waters as fast as possible.
Almost every freeway in the Metro Detroit area saw slowdowns, or even closures, due to the excessive rainwater. MDOT’s Diane Cross said that the pumps that usually get standing water off of the freeways have not been able to keep up with the amount of water.
“Any area that is below ground level, we have standing water,” Cross said. “Normally, we have pumps that pump that water off the freeway so we can drive on it. With so much rain, those pump stations are either being overwhelmed with the quantity or we’re having power outages because of the storm.”
WWJ’s Marie Osborne reported from Royal Oak, where she said large areas of the city are under water.
“There’s a subdivision at 12 Mile and Woodward where Vinsetta Boulevard is basically underwater by two feet of water in some spots,” Osborne said. “Cars are stranded on the roadways and off to the side — their blinkers are going. There’s a lot of dead-end streets in this area and cars are just simply pulled over to the side because they can’t go any further.”
Osborne said that residents are grabbing sticks and whatever they can to try to free debris from the sewers so that the water can leave the streets. Royal Oak police said that hundreds of people have called with reports of flooded basements with several inches of water.