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Detroit area hit again with rain, flood warning posted

Steady rain drenched the Detroit area Friday, flooding highways and raising the anxiety of residents whose basements were wrecked by sewage during a tremendous storm exactly two weeks ago.

A downtown ramp to M-10, known as the Lodge Freeway, was below water and closed, while sections of Interstate 94 in Detroit were also flooded.

The National Weather Service posted a flood warning for Wayne County until late afternoon as well as flood advisories for elsewhere in southeastern Michigan.

“When will this end?” Chelsea Parr posted on a Facebook page for Grosse Pointe Farms residents.

In Detroit, highways are vulnerable in any long rain event because they are below ground and depend on pumps to get rid of water.

The pumps were working, but water volume was “more than we can handle,” said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman at the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“The rivers and creeks and even the sewer systems, grassy areas that all absorb the rain normally are kind of full,” Cross said.

The rain fell a day after President Joe Biden declared a disaster in Michigan due to flood damage from late June. Thousands of basements in Detroit and some suburbs were swamped with water and sewage when more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) fell in just a few hours.

Power disruptions stalled pumps operated by the Great Lakes Water Authority, sending sewage back through pipes. Piles of possessions from contaminated basements sat on curbs for days before being hauled away by weary crews.

The agency insisted Thursday that it’s “ready for the storm.”