WARREN (WWJ/AP) – Much progress had been made, but a section of I-75 remained closed two days after heavy rain swamped much of the area and stranded motorists on water-clogged streets and freeways.
Midday on Wednesday, eastbound I-696 finally reopened between I-75 and Gratiot; and southbound I-75 reopened between 11 Mile and 696. However, northbound I-75 was still shut down between 8 Mile Road and I-696.
Michigan Department of Transportation said crews are working to reopen the roadways as soon as possible. They’ve been working “around the clock” pumping water from roads and clearing mud and other debris, an official said.
Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross said an investigation is ongoing to figure out what went wrong Monday on Detroit’s roads. A final determination isn’t expected to be made until after the mud, trash, abandoned vehicles and other debris is cleared.
The storms dumped more than 6 inches of rain in places and claimed at least three lives, officials said. A 31-year-old woman died after being trapped inside her car in more than three-feet of water in Warren; a 100-year-old woman drowned in her Warren basement; and a 68-year-old man died after pushing his car through flood waters in Oak Park.
The aftermath of flooding in the area forced mayors in Ferndale, Highland Park and Warren to declare a State of Emergency. The declarations will allow the cities to be eligible for financial help from the state and federal government.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that, despite the heavy rains, the Detroit Water Department’s operational systems suffered no major failures; only some overwhelmed sewer systems. Detroit residents are being asked to clear their catch basins to alleviate flooding. If that doesn’t work, they’re asked to call the Detroit Water Department.
The National Weather Service said 4.57 inches of rain fell at Detroit Metro Airport, breaking the previous record of 2.06 inches set back in 1964. It’s the second-highest one-day rainfall on record for Detroit, behind 4.74 inches that fell on July 31, 1925.
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