I In Detroit Still Closed But Looking Better After Flood
DETROIT (AP) — Most water from a weekend storm finally disappeared Tuesday on Interstate 94 in Detroit, a critical step to reopening a 4-mile stretch of the major urban highway.
Vehicles sit in floodwaters on I that overwhelmed the interstate this past Friday June 25, , the floodwaters have yet to subside on Monday June 28 in Detroit. (Nicole Hester/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)
Street sweepers and trucks with plow-style blades moved in to get the pavement ready for east-west traffic again in the city. The highway closure resulted from a fast, intense storm that dumped more than 6 inches of rain Friday and Saturday.
It wasn’t immediately known when I would reopen.READ MORE: Police Search For Pair That Used Stolen Semi-Trailer To Break Into Dollar Tree In Detroit
Crews “still have clean up to do, then inspection to see what areas were damaged by four days of water,” said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman at the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Pumps couldn’t keep up with the water due to power failures and other challenges with an interstate that is below ground level. Meanwhile, basements in Detroit and border suburbs were flooded when a pump station shut down.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others blamed the storm on the consequences of climate change. She said the state’s aging infrastructure also needs an overhaul.
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Eastbound I reopens after nearly 10 days of flooding repairs
From Michigan Avenue to West Grand Boulevard, eastbound Interstate 94 has reopened after severe concrete damage due to flooding caused road closure for more than a week.
At least a dozen cars were pulled from the previously flooded EB I, according to Michigan's Department of Transportation.
"There could have been other (cars) when it was deeper or the boundaries were longer," MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said. "State police just had tow trucks coming in, continually as water receded, away from Rotunda (Drive), people may have just called tow trucks themselves."
MDOT had to rebuild the roadway under Warren Avenue, which contributed to EB I's delay in reopening.
"There's four lanes there so we had to do it two at a time to leave two lanes open for trucks to come in because (the damage) was under the Warren bridge," Cross said. "We had to go underneath the bridge and use smaller equipment so we needed two lanes to let equipment work on the other two lanes."
More: Massive 4-year road project revamping I in Wayne County starts Tuesday
More: Report: Great Lakes region needs about $2B for flood repairs
Once the concrete of first two lanes cured, MDOT drove on the new pavement to work on the other two lanes.
"We do still have one lane closed under Warren, we have to wait for that concrete to cure, and then we'll be opening that one by Tuesday," Cross said.
Contact Nour Rahal: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nrahal1.
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Eastbound I remains closed for another 'week or two' as Detroit mayor plans to meet Biden
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan plans to meet President Joe Biden in Traverse City this weekend to discuss the severity of the latest flood damages in southeast Michigan as one of the city's major arteries remains partially closed.
"I will be meeting with the president on Saturday to talk to him about the magnitude of what we're facing, not just with Detroit, but all of southeastern Michigan," Duggan said in a Tuesday announcement on expanding the city's response to the flood.
FEMA will also be in Detroit on Thursday to assess the flood damage, Duggan said.
The city is adding more crews to remove curbside debris from the flood damage. Detroit typically operates 28 garbage trucks for standard pickup but Duggan is adding 43 more until "all of the debris is gone," Duggan said. More than community volunteers are helping residents clean out debris, starting with the most affected areas based on "intense" reports.
"We are going to move to all of the neighborhoods in the city from the most affected to the least affected," Duggan said. "So in the coming days, if you're in these neighborhoods, these are the one where we have the most intense reports…once we get through those, we’ve got some other neighborhoods that were not as hard hit but were still hit, we will get to those as well."
Duggan also asks residents to move cars away from debris piles to make room for pickup vehicles. Crews will be out starting Friday.
Freeways were also shut down amid the extensive rainfall and flood. Eastbound I from Michigan Avenue to West Grand Boulevard is still closed, MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross said in an email.
"There was extensive damage to the roadway from the 4 days of flood waters which eroded the support under the concrete under Warren Avenue. We expect it to be a week or two before that can be repaired and then reopened," Cross said in an email.
More: Macomb official: Rumors rampant on Detroit flooding cause
Tuesday's announcement marks the mayor's second this week in response to flood damage.
Duggan, alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan earlier this week to seek federal assistance from Biden to help reimburse Detroiters for flood damage.
If Biden declares the Detroit area a major disaster area, FEMA funds will unlock for anyone who lost property or faced damage to their homes. Duggan recalled then-President Barack Obama declared a regional disaster after a similar , but it took another five weeks to receive aid.
Duggan is urging residents with flood damage to clean and repair their homes, and file a claim. Anyone with water in their basements that appears hazardous is encouraged to call DWSD at for crews to help resolve the matter.
"There should not be standing water in your basement. The sewers have been cleaned out for days, really since Sunday. If there’s water in your basement, something else is going on," Duggan said, adding that residents should call the DWSD hotline if that's the case.
Seniors or anyone with a disability can call the DWSD for moving assistance. Volunteers can also sign up online to help. Once debris is removed, residents should begin cleaning and repairing, and call their insurance company.
To file a claim, visit detroitmi.gov/waterdamageclaims.
Contact Dana Afana: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @DanaAfana
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When will I reopen in Detroit?
No end in sight for freeway floods on I, I
It's going to be a while before the flooding recedes from some of Detroit's most flood-prone freeways after weekend storms dropped enough water to blanket main roads coming in and out of the city. And once the water does recede, there will be plenty of cleanup before they reopen.
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Late Friday night, several inches of rain fell in Metro Detroit and the areas along I were hit the hardest, specifically between Grand Boulevard and Michigan Ave. As the freeways flooded and cars were trapped, the images seen Saturday morning were stunning.
Four days later, the freeways are still closed but the water has been pumped out. Crews worked furiously from Saturday morning through Tuesday to clean up both sides of the freeway.
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While the annual storm that brings flooding to Metro Detroit once every spring arrived a little late this year, it still packed a punch over the weekend when up to seven inches of rain fell in parts of Detroit and Wayne County.
Tuesday afternoon, the Michigan Department of Transportation said it planned to reopen the westbound lanes of the freeway after four days of being closed. A total of three lanes will be open around 4 p.m. on Tuesday for most of the stretch between W. Grand Blvd and Michigan Ave/U.S.
The only exception for the westbound lanes is the area near W. Grand Blvd, which is still going to be narrowed to two lanes. The eastbound ramp to I and to westbound I will remain closed during the repairs.
There is a bit of good news about those sections: they are expected to be reopened in time for the holiday weekend.
As for the eastbound lanes, that's going to be a lot longer. Possibly weeks before that side of the freeway is open again.
MDOT said that side of the freeway needs extensive repairs in a few different areas, which may take more than a week - or more - to complete.
That would mean the closure would last until mid-July at the very latest. Three weeks after the roads were flooded.
In the meantime, the detour for drivers around the eastbound closure is to take Michigan Ave into Detroit or northbound Southfield Freeway to eastbound I to eastbound I
Either way, you're going to have to be patient if heading east through Detroit.
Still is closed 94
Detours and Traffic Updates
Cadillac Ave bridge demolition requires closing I in Detroit
What: Demolition work will close all lanes on I between I and Conner Ave
When: Friday, March 12, 9 pm through Monday, March 15, 5 am
Why: MDOT is replacing the Cadillac Ave overpass above I, originally built in
- WB: Eight Mile to SB Gratiot Ave, WB Gratiot Connector, NB I, back to WB I One lane of WB I will be open for local traffic up to Conner Ave. All entrance ramps to WB I will be closed from Chalmers to Chene St.
- EB: SB I, EB Gratiot Connector, NB Gratiot Ave, EB Eight Mile, back to EB I All entrance ramps to EB I will be closed from I to Gratiot Ave.
Ramps closed throughout construction:
- Gratiot Ave entrance ramp to EB I
- EB I exit to French Rd
- French Rd entrance ramp to WB I
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