Flood-weary SE Michigan braces for another big storm

September 22, 2021 GMT

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) — Residents in southeastern Michigan, still recovering from a summer series of storm-related floods, were warned Tuesday to prepare for as much as 6 inches of rain by Thursday.

The National Weather Service posted a flood watch for much of the region. Rain fell sporadically but was expected to become steady Wednesday and stretch into Thursday morning.

“I would suggest that you make sure your valuables are out of the basement. Your pets, yourself — out of the basement,” said Suzanne Coffey, interim chief executive at the Great Lakes Water Authority, or GLWA, which runs a regional wastewater system.

The highest rain totals were forecast for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Basement drains in parts of Detroit and the first ring of suburbs backed up with water and sewage in late June when more than 6 inches of rain fell in just a few hours.


Some GLWA pumping stations couldn’t handle it. The mess was repeated a few weeks later.

“I look forward to the day that I don’t have to put stuff in the basement up because I trust that our infrastructure will reliably work,” Jose Rodriguez of Grosse Pointe Park said on Facebook after the latest forecast.

The GLWA said pumping stations were ready and fully staffed, though the actual performance of pumps can only be assessed when a storm hits.

Charles Smith, who lives on Detroit’s east side, said he lost personal possessions that belonged to his late wife during the earlier flooding.

“If they have to bring in experts to teach them what they don’t know, do that — whatever it takes. But what they have been doing is not working,” Smith told WDIV-TV.