Heard on All Things Considered

Southeast Michigan Could See 2-4 Inches of Rain This Week

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Image credit: Jerome Vaughn

​Basements and freeways flooding during multiple heavy rain events this summer have highlighted how Metro Detroit’s infrastructure is not prepared for climate change. 

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Metro Detroiters have seen plenty of rain this summer — and more is in the forecast over the next couple of days.  

National Weather Service Hydrologist Danny Costello says there could be some heavy downpours this week.

We think most of Southeast Michigan will get at least 2 inches of rain and there’s the possibility of up to 4 inches of rain in spots.” —Danny Costello, National Weather Service 

We think most of Southeast Michigan will get at least 2 inches of rain and there’s the possibility of up to 4 inches of rain in spots,” Costello says.  

Costello says while there will be a lot of rain and flooding concerns, the difference between this storm and the heavy rains that inundated Southeast Michigan in late June, causing widespread flooding, is the rain is expected to fall over several days, not hours.  

Basements and freeways flooding during multiple heavy rain events this summer have highlighted how Metro Detroit’s infrastructure is not prepared for the weather extremes of climate change.  

Deputy Director of Detroit Water and Sewerage Palencia Mobley says the existing infrastructure isn’t built to handle lots of rain in a short time.  

The sewage that you flushed down the toilet and the water that runs off the street end up in the same pipe. It’s a combined sewer system. And so when you get in excess of an inch and a half of rain, then yes then there’s no place for the water to go,” Mobley says.  

Avoid Flooded Areas, Check Downspouts 

Costello says that if flooding occurs drivers should be smart and avoid driving through it. 

 “If you see flooded roads in areas, slow down and don’t go in. You can avoid being a victim to flooding by avoiding the flooding,” Costello says.  

Mobley says homeowners can help prevent some water from getting in their basements by checking their downspouts.  

Sometimes folks will call and they have a lot of clear water. And that often is because their downspout on their gutter is connected to the flooding drain and that water ends up coming back up through their floor drain in the basement,” Mobley says.  

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Department of Public Works plan to have extra crews on standby to mitigate any street flooding that occurs.  

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Russ McNamara, Host, All Things Considered

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He’s been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.

russmcnamara@wdet.org

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