Flood warning for southeast Michigan rivers and northern freeze alert issued
Detroit — Heavy rain, flooding and cool temperatures Sunday made for a cold, wet mess in Metro Detroit and prompted a freeze warning for parts of northern Michigan late Sunday.
Flood warnings were issued Sunday for the Clinton River, Rouge River and lower Rouge River following a weekend of heavy rain. Warnings continued “until further notice” for the Rouge in Detroit, and the Lower Rouge in Inkster and Dearborn. Following the rain, a freeze warning was issued Sunday until 8 a.m. Monday for northern Michigan, including Cheboygan, Oscoda, Cadillac, Gaylord, Alpena and Kalkaska. Temperatures were expected to drop into 28-34 degrees, according to the weather service.
“Those three rivers saw minor flooding,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Thompson said.
Between 2-4 inches of rain fell over Metro Detroit overnight and through the day Sunday, although by 5:30 p.m., the worst was over, Thompson said.
“There’s flooding all over town,” said Royal Oak Police desk attendant Terry Drinkwine.
“We’re taking calls from the north end, the south end; the streets are flooded, the sewers are clogged. We have issues everywhere. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s an inconvenience — for some more than others.”
A cold front that swept in overnight plunged temperatures from the 80s Saturday to the mid-40s in some areas. According to National Weather Service data, the mercury drop left temperatures well above the record for May 31 — 36 degrees, in 1966 and 1889 — but still below the norm of 64 degrees.
Rachel Schultz, a bartender at the Vinsetta Grill in Royal Oak, found puddles on the floor when she opened at 11 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s nothing major, and it won’t affect business,” she said.
A short stretch of the northbound Southfield Freeway at Michigan Avenue in Dearborn was closed due to flooding, Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross said.
“The exit to Michigan Avenue is like a service drive, and traffic routed to the service drive, but they can get right back onto the freeway,” Cross said. “So drivers don’t need to worry they can’t get where they’re going.”
There were other flooding problems that were quickly cleaned up, including a stretch of Interstate 94 at 12 Mile. The problem was fixed when a Michigan State Police trooper cleaned debris from a clogged drain, Cross said.
“That’s a good reminder for people to clear their drains outside their homes and businesses,” Cross said.
Other freeway floodings Sunday morning were at I-94 near Morang and the Southfield Freeway at McNichols.
The Lower Rouge River at Inkster was 0.19 feet over flood stage earlier Sunday, while the Clinton River in Macomb County’s Clinton Township was 0.51 feet above flood stage.
National Weather Service meteorologist Deb Elliott said the first day of June will be decidedly un-summer-like.
“It’ll still be chilly (Monday), with high temperatures in the 60s,” she said. “But it looks like a dry day.”
The Associated Press contributed.