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Published August 12, 2014

Torrential rains flood Warren

» click to enlarge «
Abandoned cars dot westbound Interstate 696 in Warren between Hoover and Van Dyke Aug. 12. The freeway was closed after flooding.
Water washed away the embankment on the eastbound side of Interstate 696 at Fairfield in Warren.

Five or more inches of rain poured down on Warren Aug. 11, flooding streets and basements and leaving motorists stranded for hours as city crews struggled to manage a potentially historic deluge.

Sadly, there wasn’t much anyone could do about this rain.

“There’s 15 cars floating in the water in front of GM,” Warren Deputy Public Service Director Gus Ghanam said at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. “It’s all over the place.”

A source at Warren’s Waste Water Treatment plant said the city was soaked by at least five inches of rain between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Two sources said a person died of a heart attack near Van Dyke and 13 Mile Road, but Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said it remained unclear if the death was directly related to the flood or the resulting stress.

Ghanam said city workers in a canoe rescued another person trapped near 13 Mile and Ryan. There were also reports of a basement cave-in at a home on Eureka, but no injuries were reported.                    

Police, firefighters and emergency dispatchers were busy throughout the night managing a multitude of emergencies ranging from stranded vehicles to road closures. Police reportedly blocked access to the bridge over I-696 at Fairfield, fearing a structural collapse onto the freeway, which remained closed and underwater early Aug. 12.

There were reportedly dozens of cars stranded on the bridge at 14 Mile Road and Hoover, near the Maple Lane Golf Course.

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