Extreme flooding over the weekend caused major trouble for truckers and passenger vehicle drivers in Detroit.
On Thursday and Friday, heavy rain battered Michigan and resulted in serious flooding that is still severely impacting traffic in Detroit and other parts of the state on Monday morning.
To make matters worse, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) said the power outages affected pumping systems designed to remove water from roadways.
“The lack of power affected dozens of freeway pump houses which rely on power to pump water off the freeways. Temporary generators were brought into a number of locations which allowed the reopening of all other freeways except for I-94 in Detroit and Dearborn between Greenfield Road and I-75,” MDOT said.
The flooded roadways left dozens of semi trucks stranded in high water on I-94 in the Detroit area.
The Michigan State Patrol (MSP) issued several warnings to drivers over the weekend about attempting to drive through floodwaters.
“Here is a real life example. This semi driver entered 94 from Rotunda and started plowing through the water. He didn’t make it. Even if he would have had the momentum, the freeway was blocked by submerged cars. He made it to shore before we got to him,” MSP said in a June 27 tweet.
Here is a real life example. This semi driver entered 94 from Rotunda and started plowing through the water. He didn’t make it. Even if he would have had the momentum, the freeway was blocked by submerged cars. He made it to shore before we got to him. pic.twitter.com/hWn1XEUqkp
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) June 27, 2021
MSP also warned people not to swim in the flood waters on the interstate due to “debris, sharp metal, submerged cars, gasoline and oil floating in it,” along with a good chance of sewage.
MDOT says I-94 in Dearborn and Detroit is expected to remain closed for some time — before the interstate can reopen, the floodwaters must recede enough that tow trucks can come in and remove stranded or abandoned vehicles from the weekend.
MDOT suggests that drivers use I-96, M-10, and I-75 as detour routes during the I-94 closure.
On Monday morning, MSP provided next steps for drivers who were forced to abandon their vehicles in the high water: “If you abandoned your vehicle on the freeway contact your insurance company for your next steps. You can call the Metro South Post at 734.287.5000 with your plate number for information on where it is. Hopefully, the rain holds off a few more days.”