Charles H. Wright Museum now open after flooding but DSO still closed

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History reopened for business Wednesday after a two-week closure caused by severe flooding but the Detroit Symphony Orchestra remains closed.

Severe storms in late June flooded homes and businesses across Metro Detroit, especially in Wayne County. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the federal government for a major disaster declaration that would make federal aid available.

At the Charles H. Wright Museum on Warren Avenue, flooding in the lower level orientation theater damaged carpeting, tile and woodwork. A museum spokesman said water was 4-feet high at one point.

Flooding in the lower levels of the Charles H. Wright Museum forced it to closed for two weeks. It reopened Wednesday.

A message on the museum's website Wednesday said programs have resumed.

"Thank you to everyone for your unwavering support of the Charles H. Wright Museum during our unanticipated shutdown! We are taking reservations and all programs will resume as normal," said the message.

At the DSO's Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center on Woodward, meanwhile, assessments of the damage are still under way. Officials said the closure won't impact the symphony's fall calendar and the building will open before the start of the new season at the end of September.

Flooding in the basement level damaged drywall, carpeting, tile floors and dressing room lockers. Insurance is expected to cover what was affected, said DSO spokesman Matt Carlson.

"The majority of the musicians’ instruments were not in the building at the time, and we are currently evaluating the few instruments that were impacted," said Carlson.

Severe storms in late June dumped as much as 7 inches of rain in some parts of Metro Detroit over a 12-hour period, causing storm water systems to back up. Whitmer declare a state of emergency that will be in place until July 24.