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Michigan leaders point to infrastructure issues, climate change for current flood crisis

Posted at 11:31 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 17:37:56-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan held a press conference Monday afternoon to address the ongoing emergency flood response.

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Duggan said that Detroit's average rainfall for the month of June is 3 inches. On June 26, Detroit received 6 inches of rainfall. Duggan said Detroit got more than 2 months of rain in just one day, most of it within 5 hours.

“Our people are resilient, our infrastructure needs to be resilient as well,” said Governor Whitmer.

State leaders are pointing to infrastructure issues and climate change for the current flood crisis.

“This storm shows us how destructive climate change can be … people don’t have time to waste, we have to act, we have to do it strongly, decisively and quickly,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Whitmer said they are submitting a request federal assistance. “I would surmise that that is highly likely,” she said.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan outlined the FEMA process:

Duggan said residents should clean and repair their homes and then file their claims. If you’ve got standing water still in your basement, Duggan said to call DWSD immediately at 313-267-8000. He said continuous bulk pickup service has started, with crews doing pickups in flood-affected areas. He noted that residents should put your debris at the curb now with ticketing suspended in those affected neighborhoods until removal is complete. If you’re a senior citizen or unable to move debris from your basement, volunteers can help. Call 313-267-8000.

Residents can file a claim online at detroitmi.gov/waterdamgeclaims or call 313-267-8000. Take pictures of your damage and keep your receipts.

If you’d like to volunteer to help Detroit residents dealing with flood damage, go to Detroitmi.gov and then click on the Flood Response link, then go to Volunteer Emergency Response Sign Up.

Earlier Monday afternoon, Whitmer toured the flooding in Detroit and Wayne County.

Over the weekend, Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Wayne County to help address public health threats and safety-related issues due to the heavy rainfall on Friday and Saturday.

Widespread heavy rain, including several inches over several hours on Friday, left many highways flooding in Detroit and Wayne County, stranding drivers.

“Our staff have been working closely with Wayne County officials since the flooding began,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “We will continue to partner with the county and make certain all needs are being met as the community recovers.”