Rain Washes Out Bridge, Floods Basements and Parks

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 05/02/2019 - 01:33

April showers bring May flowers, goes the saying.

So after the third rainiest April in recorded history, what does Mother Nature give us to start May? More rain.

It’s making a mess and it’s not done with us yet.

A flood watch is in effect for the greater Detroit metro region, including Washtenaw County, from 4 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday. Saline has seen 2.94 inches of water fall over the last two days, according to meteorologist Paul Gross. Jeffrey Pitt, a meteorologist who lives in Saline, noted that the 5.82 inches of rain that fell at Detroit Metro Airport in April makes it the third wettest April of all time – continuing a precipitation trend that started in October of 2017.

More rain is in the forecast for Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening.

Saline woke up to a mess Wednesday. And in some cases, it was dangerous. Shaun Furlong was on his way to work on Braun Road in Saline Township around 5:40 a.m.

“I crossed over Macon Road and went up the hill,” Furlong said.

On the way down the hill when he slammed the brakes.

The bridge over the drain had washed out.

“I was three feet from going in it. Thank God that didn’t happen,” Furlong said.

braun road bridge 2.jpg

He called 911 and police notified county officials, who shut down the road – one of several roads closed by the county Wednesday. Residents hope the county replaces this bridge faster than they replaced the Macon Road bridge that was closed in 2017 for structural deterioration.

Damon Gilless lives beside the washed out bridge. He didn’t here the bridge collapse. But he did here the voices of all the people who gathered by the broken road in this usually quiet country area. But Gilless didn’t have a lot of time to talk about the bridge Wednesday, because he awoke to several feet of water in his basement. He spent the day cleaning up with the help of friends.

“It’s great to have good friends,” Gilless said.

Flooded basements were reported by residents in the city and in the townships.

City resident Alex Johnson recently bought a home in a “lowland” part of the Northville subdivision.

“We love the neighborhood, but not the swell of groundwater so much,” Johnson said. “Total nightmare. I lost count at 60 gallons of water removed. Not done yet! A good wet vac makes a huge difference though.”

Saline resident Linda DeMichele helpfully offered to bring pallets to those residents, so they could store their goods.

DJI_0053 may day flood.jpg

(Above, a look at Curtiss Park)

Meanwhile, the parks along the Saline River were flooded. The city closed the entrance to Curtiss Park, where the river had swollen over its banks and into the parking lot.

  • Purchase flood insurance. Many people and properties are not covered for flooding under standard homeowners insurance policies. As a result, it is essential to purchase separate flood insurance. The home improvement and information site HouseLogic says that flood insurance may be required by mortgage companies for those financing homes in flood plains.
  • Have a “go bag” ready. This is a great idea in preparation for any type of emergency situation. Go bags can include a few changes of clothes, important documents and phone numbers, essential toiletries, extra cash, and non-perishable foods. You may want to stock go bags with flashlights, batteries and waterproof shoes as well. Evacuate if a flood is predicted to be severe.
  • Know your flood level. Check flood maps at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website (FEMA.gov) or your local building department. This will help you know just how high the water might rise in certain scenarios so you can plan accordingly.
  • Safeguard key home systems. Protect sockets, switches, breakers, and wiring in a home by placing them at least one foot above the expected flood level in your area, offers the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Move the furnace, water heater and any other key appliances so they sit above the property’s flood level.
  • Vent the water. Foundation vents, sump pumps, drains, and more can help keep water from accumulating in or around the foundation of a home.
  • Consider a grading change. The grading or slope of ground can be adjusted to direct water away from your home.  If your street is prone to standing water after ordinary rainstorms, talk to your county planning or environmental services department about potential modifications.


Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of TheSalinePost.com. He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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