Jun 27, 2021 - Science

Michigan governor declares state of emergency over flooding

Cars abandoned at this I-96 overpass of Pacific Ave. causing the freeway to become impassible where the water was over 2 feet due to the rains in Northwest Detroit on Saturday June 26 in Detroit
Cars abandoned at this I-96 overpass in northwest Detroit, Michigan. The freeway became impassible where the water was over 2-feet-deep due to the rains the previous day. Photo: Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) declared a state of emergency Saturday over what she called "extraordinary flooding," which caused power outages, sewer backups and left dozens of drivers stranded.

Driving the news: Flood watches were in place through Sunday, after up to 7 inches of rain fell in some parts of the state over the past few days, per the National Weather Service.

The big picture: More than 47,000 customers were without power in Michigan as of early Sunday, per the national tracking system PowerOutage.US.

  • The flooding saw some 350 vehicles damaged and resulted in about 50 drivers having to be rescued after becoming stranded in parts of the state including Detroit and Wayne County, per the New York Times.
  • Detroit Water and Sewage Department director Gary Brown told a news conference Saturday that the "intensity of these storms exceeded the design standard for pump stations and combined sewer overflow facilities."
  • "With this much rain, there is nowhere for the water to go other than flooding streets and basements," Brown added.

What to watch: "Additional rain tonight will prolong these flooding conditions," the NWS said in its report late Saturday.

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