Closed Roads and Flooded Basements as Rain Overwhelms Infrastructure
(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 26, 2021)
Novi, Rochester Hills, MI – A storm bringing four inches of rainfall to Oakland County has wreaked havoc on roads, basements, and waterways where systems in place were insufficient to handle the task of drainage and retention. Oakland County Times is gathering examples of damage. If you have any to add, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Michigan State Police, all freeways in Wayne County were impacted by flooding, as were several in Oakland and Macomb. M-39, I-96, and I-94 all had abandoned vehicles in the water. Their Twitter account repeatedly reminded people not to drive through water on roadways. It also noted that those who left their vehicles could reach out to the local police department for retrieval information.
Pictures from MSP Show the Marine Services Team helping stranded motorists and working to unclog drains.
County Executive Dave Coulter also put out a statement. “I urge residents to use caution in any flooded areas or in situations that they feel are unsafe, said County Executive Dave Coulter. “If you are driving and see standing water, ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ Taking the time to follow safety guidelines, will help prevent unnecessary injury.”
Residents can visit oakgov.com/emergency-management for updates. Resources on the site also include a printable family emergency plan, info on the outdoor warning siren system, and a guide for preventing flood damage.
For one example of localized flooding, pictures taken in Rochester Hills, near John R and Auburn Road in the Hampton neighborhood, show flooding to the tops of vehicles as well as to the nearby Hampton Golf Course.
In Novi, councilperson Andrew Mutch posted about flooding in the Meadowbrook dam area. “This is what the Meadowbrook Lake dam looks like on a day when Novi received over 3 inches of rainfall,” he said. “Meadowbrook Lake takes in the stormwater from a large portion of the city. The dam helps protect downstream properties from flash flooding. Downstream of the dam, you can see the Walled Lake Branch of the Middle Rouge River has escaped its banks and is spilling out into the floodplain areas along the route of the river.”
The floodplain is there exactly for that reason, to catch the overflow. The city did experience flooding on streets in several areas, including Ten Mile and Taft Road which was completely closed.
A video shows a channel filled with rushing water. Mutch explained “The dam at Meadowbrook Lake has an overflow channel for days like today. Water flowing through this channel helps reduce the amount of water going over the dam which, in turn, reduces the possibility of damage to the dam or an outright dam failure. The water flowing through the channel returns to the Walled Lake Branch of the Middle Rouge at a point downstream of the dam. The city owns and maintains the dam but the surrounding properties are owned by homeowners and the Meadowbrook Lake Homeowners association (over which the city has some easements for stormwater management).”
When asked about his wishes in terms of infrastructure funding, Mutch told Oakland County Times ““As more funding is made available to improve infrastructure, I want to see more of that dedicated to green infrastructure projects that will help communities better absorb the impacts of climate change, like more frequent heavy rain events.”
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