Flooding Isn’t Just Weather or Climate Problem — It’s an Infrastructure Problem

Flooding in Metro Detroit in 2014

There’s a good chance that if you were driving around Metro Detroit last week you came across some kind of flooding in the roadways. Residents in Dearborn Heights were even kayaking down flooded streets. The Southfield Freeway was closed in both directions with water reaching 14 feet near Outer Drive.

It seems like this kind of event is happening more frequently. Just a few years ago, authorities had to don SCUBA gear to try to save motorists on the freeways after a massive flood, which also destroyed basements and their contents.

This is a weather and climate issue. But it’s also an infrastructure issue. How do we prepare for this, especially when our infrastructure is already in such bad shape?

On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson speaks with two people who study these issues in Southeast Michigan.

Kelly Karll is the manager of environment and infrastructure at the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

Greg Kacvinsky is the stormwater management practice leader for OHM Advisors. He recently wrote an op-ed in Crain’s Detroit Business titled “Michigan cries out for 21st century infrastructure.”

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

Image credit: Michigan State Police Emergency Management Division

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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