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.