Monthly Archives: August 2014

On-going Flood Cleanup Efforts in Detroit

In the wake of historic flooding that left a great deal of destruction across Detroit, Michigan governor Rick Snyder declared a disaster for metro Detroit counties due to the thousands of flooded basements and raw sewage spills that took place. As Detroiters are working hard to restore their flooded properties by sifting through debris, some people have chosen to scavenge through that debris that is being placed on curbs, raising health concerns.

The flood damage is so severe across Detroit that local officials are pleading for assistance, citing that it will be impossible for their communities to handle all the work on their own. They say that they’re in desperate need for state and federal help and that it needs to come quickly. Jim Fouts, mayor of Warren, said Wednesday that there is a big public health concern in his city, which was hit very hard by flooding. Many Warren residents report that their homes smell like raw sewage.

Fouts said that the rain left 1,000 vehicles stranded in Warren and that the flooding has destroyed a countless number of basements in his city. Warren is Metro Detroit’s third largest city with over 125,000 residents. Approximately 5.3 inches of rain came down in Warren in just a 13 hour period. While things have gotten better there, officials say that it will take several more days to clear streets of abandoned automobiles. Fouts said that he is considering asking for federal help which may include assistance from FEMA.

The flooding that took place across the Metro Detroit area was dramatic and something most residents have never before witnessed. All of the city’s main freeways were flooded, forcing them to close down completely due to several feet of standing water. This flooding event in Detroit was caused by the heaviest rain since 1925. Most of the rain fell Monday, making that day the second-wettest day on record, according to the National Weather Service. The floods in the Detroit area led to scores of high water rescues and at least two deaths were being blamed on the flash flooding.

Residents in many Detroit area communities have been left to face cleaning up flooded basements. Many people reported having several feet of water in the lower levels of their homes which left furniture and other belongings floating in dirty, cold water. All across the Metro Detroit area, neighbors are pitching in to help clean up the mess left behind. The cleanup efforts across Detroit can take several weeks to complete. Many affected residents are turning to flood restoration services to help them deal with flooded basements.

Hurricanes Julio & Iselle Target the Big Island of Hawaii

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Hurricane Iselle, headed towards the Big Hawaiian islands, is still a Category 1 hurricane. This tropical system is present in the eastern Pacific, and has sustained winds of 85 mph with the possibility of the gusts strengthening. Iselle will then continue on a west-northwestward track throughout the rest of the evening. Hurricane Julio is still categorized as a Category 1 Hurricane and is tracked right now to Iselle’s east. It is projected that Julio will follow a path largely similar to Iselle’s.

Hurricane Iselle began weakening substantially earlier in the day on Wednesday, but it has become more organized on Wednesday afternoon. It has a large and defined eye that is showing up on the satellite images.

Rip currents, as well as swells and high surf currents will strengthen today through tomorrow for the Big Island and Maui, Hawaii. The winds associated with the systems will then begin to increase across the Big Island on Thursday afternoon, and it will be especially strong across the higher terrain. Winds may even reach 40-60 mph. If the winds reach above 60 mph, it will impact the foothills of the Big Island as well as any higher terrain of the Big Island and Maui late Thursday into Thursday night. This is more than likely to cause widespread power outages. Rainfall amounts are expected to be about 4 inches or possibly greater.

The totals could reach an excess of 8 inches and will lead to life threatening flooding as well as mudslides, especially over the foothills of the Big Island. Roads may also be washed out due to extensive torrential rains and flash flooding. Iselle will impact the rest of the smaller islands with flooding rainfall and strong wind gusts that could be potentially dangerous on Friday.

As of today, Hurricane Julio is centered about 1,650 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. The sustained winds are recorded at about 75 mph right now. This tropical system is projected to continue strengthening throughout the eastern Pacific on a steady course that will bring it towards Hawaii over the weekend. This system is seeing a bit of a northeast wind shear, but because it is tracking throughout warm waters it will continue to strengthen over the next 24-48. As Julio passes over cooler sea-surface temperatures it will begin to weaken before it hits Hawaii, but because of the specific track that it is on right now, the conditions still may be severe. It is expected to bring heavy rain, flash flooding, and very damaging winds.

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The latest model shows that Julio will pass north and east of Hawaii late this weekend which will indefinitely cause less impact on some of the smaller Hawaiian islands. But, this system could possibly shift south and cause some severe damage by hitting the Big Island. The Hawaiian Hurricane center will need to closely monitor Julio’s progress as the days pass.

The National Hurricane Center has issued an advisory on Hurricane Julio, as it is centered at about 1,4000 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja peninsula. There is a surface trough that is active and located 700 miles west of Acapulco, Mexico, and it is causing some rain showers and thunderstorm activity. The development of this system is expected to be slow moving, and it is moving west-northwestward at about 10-15 mph.

In wake of hurricane season, it is important to be prepared for the worst. Have an emergency kit, supplies, and important documents and prescriptions with you at all times. For more information on how to get prepared for a hurricane, you can visit the FEMA’s Ready.gov website.

To further track these changing tropical storms, check out these resources:

FEMA

Hurricane Tracking

AccuWeather

The Weather Channel

Ready.gov