WARREN (WWJ) – Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has declared an official state of emergency and is calling on the government for help cleaning up after torrential storms left the city in shambles.
“It appears that Warren was the epicenter of the disaster,” Fouts said live on WWJ Newsradio 950 Tuesday morning. “In some places the water was five-feet over the road. There’s at least 1,000-plus cars abandoned on the thoroughfares of Warren. Our emergency personnel have been just besieged, overwhelmed with calls.”
Fouts said Warren City Hall and the police department were flooded with 6 feet of water.
He said thousands of Warren residents have flooded basements and the General Motors Tech Center was forced to close.
According to The National Weather Service, 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday in Warren, flooding area streets and freeways. Motorists who got stuck on flooded roads ditched their vehicles in search of higher ground while others stayed put, even spending the night in their cars.
Police reportedly came in in canoes to rescue people from the pizza shop.
“We removed nearly 100 people from Buddy’s Pizza to high ground at the Lowes parking lot. We then in turn removed another 500 from Lowes parking lot, we transferred those to the community center. We also brought in people who were trapped in their cars on the street,” Fouts said.
At least one person was killed during the storm.
“We did have one woman who died,” Fouts said. “It probably was storm related, although she died of cardiac arrest. They found her trapped in her car with three-and-a-half feet of water, so that obviously played a role.” She was 31 years old.