The governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency in response to “extraordinary flooding” in southeast Michigan. Police said flooded metro Detroit freeways were “littered with abandoned vehicles.”
Heavy rain began on 25 June 2021. Officials reported flooded roadways, stranded motorists, damaged homes and displaced residents. The hardest hit were areas of Detroit and surrounding Wayne County. Flooded roadways were also reported in Oakland and Macomb counties. Wind damage caused power outages for around 40,000 homes and businesses in the region.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Detroit said that in a 24 hour period to 26 June, Garden City recorded 6.6 inches / 167.64 mm of rain while Grosse Pointe saw 6.5″ / 165.1 mm, Ann Arbor 5.34″ / 135.6 mm and Detroit 5″ / 127 mm.
Michigan State Police (MSP) Detroit said flooded metro Detroit freeways were “littered with abandoned vehicles.” Hundreds of vehicles were caught in the flooding and dozens of drivers rescued by emergency services. Flood water was so deep police divers were called on to check some vehicles for occupants. As of 27 June no fatalities were reported.
Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan, said “Our city has experienced extraordinary rainfall of nearly 6 inches in 24 hours, far beyond the capacity of Southeast Michigan’s stormwater system.”
The Michigan State Emergency Operations Center was activated, closely followed by a state of emergency declaration. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement of 26 June:
“I’ve declared a state of emergency in response to extraordinary flooding in southeast Michigan. This will unlock additional resources today and in the days to come as we work to respond to heavy rainfall and assess additional flooding across the state.”
“We are continuing to monitor the severe weather events happening across Michigan to ensure we are being proactive in every way possible. Our main priority is making sure everyone stays safe,” she added.
Further severe weather is likely. On 27 June NWS Detroit warned of “another day with strong to severe storms and heavy rainfall threat. Damaging wind gusts is the primary threat with an isolate tornado possible as well.”
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) June 26, 2021

Here are a couple more pics showing troops going above and behind. From diving in not so clean water to actually trying to unclog storm drains to our dispatchers answering so may calls. Always proud to be a Michigan State Trooper. Even prouder of these MSP employees.
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) June 27, 2021

On Scene Update: I 94 both directions and Trumbull.
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) June 26, 2021

Here are some of the rainfall reports we have received over the last 24 hours (most are a 24-hr total). You can see all of our local storm reports here:
— NWS Detroit (@NWSDetroit) June 26, 2021

SHELTER: If you are in need of shelter because of flooding or other weather-related damage, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
— American Red Cross Michigan Region (@MIRedCross) June 27, 2021

Featured photo: Cars in flood water for illustration only. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Richard Davies is the founder of and reports on flooding news, flood insurance, protection and defence issues.

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