Metro storms bring flash flood warnings, power outages

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A day of downpours that flooded freeways, sparked power outages across Metro Detroit and flash flood warnings will give way to more rain Tuesday.

Though the heaviest downfalls have doused the region, “there’s going to be a chance all night of some additional rain, even on into early tomorrow,” said Mike Richter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in White Lake Township.

Tuesday's forecast calls for rainfall amounts between a 10th and 1/4 of an inch as highs reach the low 70s, about five degrees below average for the date.

The showers are not expected to last as long as Monday's, but "it could be some locally heavily rainfall," Richter said.

Monday's conditions prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning until 12:30 a.m. Tuesday for north central Wayne County, southeastern Oakland County and southwestern Macomb County. The area includes Warren, Livonia, Troy, Southfield, Taylor, Pontiac, Romulus, downtown Detroit, Detroit, Sterling Heights, Dearborn, Royal Oak, Wyandotte, Birmingham, Rochester, Westland, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Dearborn Heights, Lincoln Park and Madison Heights.

A flash flood advisory also has been issued by the weather service for the counties of eastern Tuscola, western Sanilac and northeastern Lapeer until 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Some spots across southeast Michigan saw significant rainfall before dark, the weather service reported. Totals included 2.53 inches in Livonia; 1.80 inches in Clarkston; 1.49 inches in White Lake Township; 1.40 inches in Brighton; 1.16 inches in Bloomfield Hills;and 1.03 inches in Grosse Pointe.

"Additional moderate-to-heavy rainfall remains possible as thunderstorms lift north early tonight," weather service officials said in the flood warning. "This could bring additional localized amounts in excess of an inch, aggravating flooding conditions."

By 9:30 p.m. Monday, DTE Energy reported that 7,400 customers had lost power due to the storms. Crews were working around the clock and an estimate for restoration was Tuesday morning, barring other storms, said DTE spokesman David J. Peterson.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Transportation reported that eastbound Interstate 696 at Evergreen in Southfield was closed due to flooding. The westbound lanes of I-696 at Southfield also were closed, according to the department website.

MDOT officials posted a picture on Twitter showing the highway near Evergreen covered in water. "Generator should have water off before midnight," the tweet read.

The department earlier reported the northbound M-39 ramp to eastbound Interstate 96 in Wayne County was flooded.

Once Tuesday's rain clears out, clearer conditions are ahead for the region.

On Wednesday, the mercury is forecast to rebound near 80 under mostly sunny skies.