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Part of I-94 in Detroit and Dearborn to reopen after flood

June 29, 2021 GMT
Vehicles sit in floodwaters on I-94 that overwhelmed the interstate this past Friday June 25, 2021, the floodwaters have yet to subside on Monday June 28 2021 in Detroit. (Nicole Hester/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)
Vehicles sit in floodwaters on I-94 that overwhelmed the interstate this past Friday June 25, 2021, the floodwaters have yet to subside on Monday June 28 2021 in Detroit. (Nicole Hester/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — Most water from a weekend storm finally disappeared Tuesday on Interstate 94 in Detroit, a critical step to reopening a 4-mile stretch of the major urban highway.

Street sweepers and trucks with plow-style blades were moved in to get the pavement ready for east-west traffic again in the city. The highway closure was the result of a fast, intense storm that dumped more than 6 inches of rain Friday and Saturday.

A section of westbound I-94 in Detroit and Dearborn was scheduled to reopen Tuesday afternoon, but extensive repairs are needed in spots on eastbound lanes and that work could take more than a week, Michigan’s Department of Transportation said.

One westbound lane near West Grand Boulevard in Detroit also will remain closed for repairs, as will a ramp from eastbound Interstate 96 to westbound I-94 due to the work.

Crews had “clean up to do, then inspection to see what areas were damaged by four days of water,” said Diane Cross, spokeswoman at the Transportation department.

Pumps couldn’t keep up with the water due to power failures and other challenges with an interstate that is below ground level. Meanwhile, basements in Detroit and border suburbs were flooded when a pump station shut down.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others blamed the storm on the consequences of climate change. She said the state’s aging infrastructure also needs an overhaul.