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Some Metro Detroit communities got 3-5 inches of rainfall in latest round of wet weather

Some sections of Metro Detroit saw nearly five inches of rainfall Wednesday as another round of wet weather doused the region, prompting a flood watch. 

By evening, Farmington Hills, Armada and Port Huron topped 5 inches, and Mount Clemens reached 4.25 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Monroe, Livonia, Garden City, Romulus, Ypsilanti, Shelby Township, Southgate and Marine City all endured at least 3 inches. Other totals included 2.44 in West Bloomfield Township, 2.26 in Clarkston, 2.08 in White Lake Township, 1.89 in Adrian and 1.07 in St. Clair Shores, the weather service said.

Motorist maneuver through a flooded Oakland Street in Highland Park on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

A flood watch was set to expire early Thursday. By that time, some areas are expected to have seen more than 2 inches. 

"It's not a particularly intense rainfall like you experienced this past summer," said Michael Boguth, a meteorologist with the Gaylord branch of the National Weather Service. "This is more long duration, light to moderate at times."

The risk, Boguth warned, will come if local rivers start to overflow their banks. 

"You're going to see a steady rise in rivers and ponding on roads and other low lying areas," he said. "The best thing to prepare is to keep track of these road conditions and definitely keep track of those river levels over the next several days."

The weather service on Wednesday issued flood warnings for multiple rivers including the Middle Rouge River near Dearborn Heights and Rouge River in Detroit; the Clinton River in Macomb County; and Huron River near Hamburg affecting Livingston County. 

The weather service said most rivers were expected to rise near or above flood stage Wednesday evening and crest early Thursday.

The Clinton River near Clinton Township reached 17.08 feet late Wednesday, above the flood stage of 16 feet, the weather service reported.

A vehicle is abandoned at a flooded railroad underpass at McNichols Road near I75 in Detroit on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Some area freeway flooding was also reported Wednesday, including some lanes on Interstate 94 near the Lodge Freeway in Detroit, the shoulder of I-94 near Van Dyke as well as the interstate's westbound ramp to the Lodge. The water cleared by evening.

Macomb County officials reported flooding earlier Wednesday near the Clinton River and the closure of sections of Garfield and Millar roads in Clinton Township.

A flooded area near Millar Rd. and Utica Rd.

In a statement Wednesday, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said her office's drain maintenance staff had cleared debris from major grates, including along Interstate 94, before the flood threats to reduce the risk of freeway flooding.

“We’ve strived to be proactive by getting out in front of this predicted multi-day rain event," she said.

The Great Lakes Water Authority said its regional collection system and associated power feeds into the Freud Pump Station in Detroit were operating as usual.

In the wake of the rainfall and wind, power outages followed in some areas.

DTE Energy reported more than 89,000 customers in the dark late Wednesday, with large clusters near Inkster, Canton Township, Novi, Farmington Hills, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Washington Township, Saline, Fraser, Port Huron, Marysville and Algonac.

Consumers Energy reported about 8,500  without electricity across the state, including near Lansing, Flint and Kalamazoo.

Police reported trees toppled on streets in Ann Arbor and Northville Township.

"Please be careful as there are a lot of dark streets, intersections with no lights and power lines down," Michigan State Police said on Twitter. "If you are using a generator, please keep it outside and away from windows."

The showers are forecast to end Thursday, when temperatures should top out in the upper 50s, or more than 10 degrees below average for the date, weather service records show.

The rain follows months of severe weather that sparked outages, flooding and other woes across the region.

At least four significant flood events doused the region over the summer, the weather service said. Among them was the June 25-26 episode that flooded thousands of homes, resulting in a federal disaster declaration. 

The week of Aug. 12, severe storms left more than 900,000 residents across the state without electricity, some for up to a week.

Two weeks later, as much as 2-4 inches fell, sparking basement backups and road closures.

Last week, summer-like warmth fueled storms that brought high winds, hail and downpours, leaving thousands of residents without power.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez