DETROIT (WWJ) – Southeast Michigan’s freeways have been cleared of flood waters, but some problems persist as thousands of local residents struggle to dry out and clean up three days after the region was soaked by record rainfall.
Thursday morning, multiple motorists traveling eastbound on I-94 underneath Warren Ave. complained of buckling pavement as the Michigan Department of Transportation continued to do safety checks and assess possible long term damage on that freeway — as well as on I-75, I-696, the Southfield freeway and the Lodge.
Thursday afternoon, eastbound I-94 in Detroit was down to one lane for repairs.
MDOT estimates it will cost around half-a-million dollars by the time all cleanup and repairs are complete; but Cross said the freeway system “really did come out in good shape.”
Gov. Rick Snyder declared an official disaster in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties; and states of emergency were declared in Macomb County, Oakland County, as well as the cities of Warren, Ferndale and Highland Park.
As homeowners continue clearing our their basements, piles of sewage-soaked belongings lining residential streets have been bringing out garbage pickers en masse.
In especially hard-hit Macomb County, officials urge affected property owners to call a special information hotline at 586-493-6767 and/or complete a “damage assessment report form” that can be found on the county Emergency Management website or at a local government office.
Macomb County has also established a damage assessment reporting center at the Southwest Health Center located at 27690 Van Dyke, Warren, 48093 for those residents who do not have access to a computer or need assistance in completing the form.
Macomb County Director of Emergency Management and Communications Vicki Wolber spoke with WWJ’s Beth Fisher while volunteers manned busy phones at the county’s Communications and Technology Center.
“We need to feed all this information all of this information up to the state who is then going to quantify it in working with FEMA and see what type of damage we have there,” Wolber said. “Without having good, concrete numbers… we don’t, obviously, just want to guess. You don’ t wanna estimate too low.”
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackle says it’s extremely important to get your information in — but that won’t guarantee assistance.
“There is no promise as to what they’ll get from the state or federal government,” Hackle said. “That I can’t do.”
Meantime, in neighboring Oakland County, the Royal Oak YMCA is stepping up help flood victims there. Executive Director Kyle Anderson says they’re letting flood victims in for free for the next two weeks.
“In talking with the city of Royal Oak, one of the main issues that they’ve heard is people’s hot water tanks are bad,” Anderson told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil. “Just, for instance, we have a couple of staff members here that their hot water tanks were bad — because they were in the flood — so we’ve opened our doors up to them as well.”
In addition to taking a hot shower, Anderson said, flooding victims also welcome to swim and work out. The offer is open to those in Royal Oak, Southfield, Oak Park, Ferndale, Clawson, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods and Madison Heights.
Gov. Snyder said he wants to remind property owners to work with their insurance agent or provider if they wish to file a claim. Consumers can also contact the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at 1-877-999-6442 with questions or concerns.
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.