4 reasons the highways flooded, got backed up again

4 reasons the highways flooded, got backed up again

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  • 4 reasons the highways flooded, got backed up again

    4 reasons the highways flooded, got backed up again

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:23:58 GMT
    Several roadways are flooded again Wednesday morning after Tuesday's rainfall. Diane Cross from MDOT explains why this happened again after the major floods on August 11.
    Several roadways are flooded again Wednesday morning after Tuesday's rainfall. Diane Cross from MDOT explains why this happened again after the major floods on August 11.
(WJBK) - After heavy storms rolled through the area Tuesday night, thousands have damaged properties and others are left are without power. Also, for the second time this month, heavy rain flooded some of metro Detroit's freeways, leaving drivers asking what is wrong with the roads.

Diane Cross from MDOT explains why this happened again after the major floods on August 11.

1) Aging infrastructure

MDOT says 165 pump stations in the state of Michigan, while 139 of them are in the metro Detroit area. MDOT says 58 percent of those stations are in poor condition. Twenty percent are said to be in fair condition, with 22 percent in good condition.

2) Pump station failures

The pump station at the Burns overpass between Van Dyke and Gratiot avenues failed.

"We had a pump station fail, a power outage. We had crews over there, then we started getting flooding on I-75 north of 94, between roughly West Grand and 94. We had folks trying to respond to that and 94, going all the way roughly from 96 out to that Van Dyke situation, so we had a lot going on at the same time when we were only expecting about an inch of rain," says Cross.

3) Drain debris

"You know roughly where [the drains] are, but when they're covered with 3 feet of water and you're trying to find them with waders, workers with waders and some equipment, trying to find, 'Is this one that's plugged? Is there debris in here?'" says Cross.

She adds MDOT checks the drains regularly for maintenance but isn't able to keep a constant eye on the drains to watch for litter.

4) Accidents

"We had a number of issues going on at the same time. There was a very serious accident on I-96 near Grand River [and] Schaefer. That had the freeway closed. We had crews out there and, unfortunately, as were re-opening it, almost right as we opened it, there was a crash that blocked all but one lane which left all those people who were trying to get out of our now-drained road were stuck in the back-up from the crash," Cross says.

Tuesday's storms brought 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that knocked down trees and power lines and blacked out about 169,000 electricity customers.

DTE Energy Co. says 120,000 customers remain powerless Wednesday morning. About 80,000 of those are in Wayne County. The others are in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

The utility says the majority of customers should have their power restored by late Wednesday.

Click here to see a live power outage map from DTE.

If a fallen tree or limb has impacted a power line, stay away and call DTE Energy's emergency line immediately at 800-477-4747
.

As you can see in the photos above, Tuesday's storm also toppled trees throughout metro Detroit. If you live in Detroit, you can report a downed tree by calling the Office of the Ombudsman at (313) 224-6000. Priority is being given to fallen trees that are blocking streets or on top of homes and vehicles. The City's forestry crews will focus on trees that were rooted on city property or blocking streets and sidewalks.
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