DETROIT (WWJ) — Michigan State Police are advising drivers to stay off Detroit-area freeways. They suggest using surface roads so M-DOT crews can can get the drains cleared out on the freeways.
Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw told WWJ that there are reports of flooding on every major freeway in metro Detroit.
“We’re advising everyone, if you see standing water don’t drive through it,” Shaw said. “We’re seeing a lot of cars, even at the top side-streets, that are taking some chances and as soon as that exhaust pipe gets under water you’re stuck in there and it may take a while for somebody to come and get you out.”
The National Weather Service issued an Areal Flood Advisory for portions of the metro Detroit area, in effect until 12:30 a.m.
Tipsters have reported to WWJ that water rescues are being performed for stranded motorists on I-696 and Mound. Reports are coming in that some drivers have been trapped in their cars in the middle of some roads due to high water levels and people have stood on the roof of their cars to avoid the rising waters.
There have been multiple reports of flooding in Detroit, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Sterling Heights, Wyandotte, Warren, Huntington Woods and Riverview, just to name a few.
“If you can, even avoid traveling at all until this rain settles down — you’d probably be better off,” Shaw said.
WWJ AccuWeather Meteorologist Dr. Joe Sobel said motorists should look out for flooding and poor visibility on freeways and local roads.
Some areas to watch out for: Early in the evening, southbound I-75 was closed at I-94 due to water over the road.
Flooding was also causing delays along M-39, the Southfield Freeway, under Grand River; and along M-10, the Lodge, before Rosa Parks. Other problem area reported were I-75 northbound from 8 Mile Road to McNichols, 8 Mile between Woodward Ave. and John R, and Telegraph Road at Ecorse.
A traffic tipster said Hines Drive was flooded, but remained open to traffic as the afternoon commute began.
WWJ listener Darryl Johnson of Southfield said he listened to the traffic report about flooding on the Lodge at Rosa Parks and exited the freeway. Traveling on the service drive, he was glad he did.
“What I’m seeing is…the northbound Lodge completely flooded between Rose Parks and Linwood. All the traffic is backed up and very few cars are making it through,” Johnson said. “There may be some stalled cars in the water because of the flood.”
WWJ listener “Sapphire” called in to report flooding in neighborhoods on Warren’s southeast side.
“Numerous cars are stuck,” she told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil. “Even on Ryan south, between the fire station by Bart and 10 Mile there’s numerous cars stuck in the ditch. You’re looking at eight to 10 inches of water stock in the road.”
The weather was causing some flight delays at Detroit Metro Airport during the day Friday. According to the FAA, storm-related delays were averaging about an hour.
“So, be prepared!” Sobel said. “It will not be continuous, but we will have periods of rain this afternoon and into tonight…You are going to want to have your rain gear handy.”
“Some of the rain the rest of the day today and into this evening will be heavy enough to cause some large puddles,” Sobel said. “Probably the kind of rain that might even force you to the side of the road, with some lightning and thunder and even some gusty winds.”
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.
“The water has nowhere to go,” Cross said. “We’ve had so much rain in such a short period of time that the drains, the storm sewers, they can’t take anymore water because it just doesn’t have anywhere to go.”
Here’s the detailed forecast from the CBS Detroit weather team:
Monday: Thunderstorms. High 76F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Localized flooding is possible.
Monday Night: Thunderstorms likely this evening. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms overnight. Low 66F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Localized flooding is possible.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 77F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Tuesday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 59F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy skies. High 77F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.
Wednesday Night: A mostly clear sky. Low 57F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday: Sunny. High 74F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday Night: Clear. Low 54F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Friday: A mainly sunny skies. High 76F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Friday Night: A mostly clear sky. Low 57F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
[For the weekend forecast and more, CLICK HERE].
For the latest, keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 during traffic and weather on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day. See live radar and the extended forecast anytime on the CBS Detroit weather page.