Thursday, May 2, 2019

Flooding in South East Michigan and Metro Detroit

It is a matter of increasing frustration, annoyance and black humor to me that almost every time we get more than two or three inches of rain in SE Michigan, entire sections of our roadways and expressways become impassable for days. This really shouldn't occur in the United States of America. 

Some people, including myself at times, might snark about crappy Third World standards or problems. Well. If you spent the past sixty or seventy years under the boot of European colonialism or fighting US funded civil wars at least you have a valid reason for not having solid infrastructure that's up to snuff. The US has no such excuse. 

Whether it is a question of building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure, getting rid of corrupt or incompetent contractors, politicians or workers, or raising the needed taxes to create a first rate experience we need to solve this problem. 

Our new governor was elected in part with a mandate to "fix the roads!". We'll see if she's able to accomplish that goal.

A tripped circuit breaker which cut the power to pumps keeping water off the Southfield Freeway added to the flooding that now has the roadway closed in both directions at West Outer Drive, the Michigan Department of Transportation said Thursday. The pumps, MDOT said, were down for about three hours until the breakers were reset. MDOT tweeted early Thursday, that the pump house had resumed working "at full capacity!" after being shut off. 

But there was no estimate for when the freeway could be reopened again to traffic. This week, a deluge of rain swamped roadways and communities, leaving more than a dozen feet of water on Southfield Freeway early Thursday morning and some metro Detroit residents flooded out of their homes. By about 9:30 a.m., MDOT said the water on the freeway was still at about 10 feet. 

Photos and videos of 14-foot deep waters nearly touching the green overpass signs on the freeway that are being shared on social media have come to represent the massive flooding metro Detroit residents are now facing. The images are reminiscent of other metro Detroit floods, specifically one in 2014 when the area was walloped with a 4-6 inch deluge which caused an estimated $1 billion in damages.
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