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Long-duration storm drops 1-4 inches of rain on Detroit area


No major flooding problems were reported Wednesday in the Detroit area following a nearly daylong steady rain that was the latest batch of wet weather to roll through parts of Michigan and other Midwestern states.

By Wednesday morning, between an inch and 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) of rain had fallen with another 1 to 1½ inches expected later in the day, said Trent Frey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oakland County’s White Lake Township.

The long duration of the storm, however, allowed rainfall runoff to enter storm drains, rivers and streams more slowly starting Tuesday afternoon, which helped the area avoid levels of flooding that submerged thousands of basements, dozens of streets and even freeways this summer.

“In most of the heavy rain events we had earlier this year, 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 cm) of rain occurred over a few hours,” Frey said. The most recent rain, he said, occurred over about 12 hours.

Frey said about 3½ inches (8.9 cm) of rain was reported southeast of Ann Arbor, while 3.4 inches (8.6 cm) fell near Armada in northern Macomb County.

DTE Energy said about 81,000 customers had no electricity at 10 p.m.

Basement drains in parts of Detroit and the first ring of suburbs backed up with water and sewage in late June when more than 6 inches (15.2 cm) of rain fell in just a few hours. Dozens of cars and even trucks became stranded as rainwater overwhelmed pumps and drains on freeways.

Another heavy rain a few weeks later caused similar problems.

Pumping stations and water collection systems were operating as intended during the current rainfall, according to the Great Lakes Water Authority, which runs a regional wastewater system in Detroit and southeastern Michigan.

The authority had earlier advised customers to move valuables and pets out of basements.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service posted a flood watch for much of the region.

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