Floods take Southeast Michigan by storm

Communities damaged by heavy rains


Hana Abu Hamdan, Staff Writer

The severe rainstorms that pummeled metro Detroit last week has led to communities devastated. The biggest impact was felt in Dearborn and Detroit. This resulted in many damaged flooded basements, leaving inhabitants with an unexpected turn of events that can be costly to pay for. According to Detroitnews.com on June 28, Whitmer stated, “What we need is a comprehensive investment in infrastructure at the state level and at the federal level I’m glad that President Biden is working to get an infrastructure package done because this is not unique to Michigan, but it is our job to deliver for the people in the state. We’re doing what we can with the resources we have.” Luckily, the Red Cross has offered to have volunteers and staff from the metro Detroit area assist with the aftermath. This organization also provides shelter for those who cannot stay in their homes due to the damage. Those who need a shelter can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or go directly to one of the Red Cross available shelters nearby, two of these being located in Ann Arbor at Pioneer High School, 601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor 48103 and the other in Detroit at Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval St, Detroit 48214. 

The residents who are stuck at home, are strongly urged to follow certain safety tips, recommended by the Red Cross. For being able to clean up safely these tips should be considered. 

First, make sure to wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and rubber boots. Second, be sure to avoid electrical shock in any flooded areas by avoiding contact with electrical equipment or electronics that may have been affected (feel free to call an electrical technician). Third, pay attention when relocating any furniture or debris, since they potentially could potentially be waterlogged, therefore becoming heavier. Fourth, be sure to throw away any items that absorb water, if they cannot be disinfected such as mattresses, carpets, makeup or toys. Next, be sure to get rid of any food or medicine that has been exposed to the flood or even mud. This could include canned foods, plastic utensils or baby bottles. In addition, try to remove water gradually from flooded basements, to avoid more damage. Make sure to avoid pumping out water completely in a small amount of time, since pressure from the water-saturated soil from the outside, could result in basement walls collapsing. Lastly, service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits or leaching systems, since damaged sewage systems are dangerous toward health. 

Some people have also received power outages. Those who find themselves in this situation are advised to follow additional safety tips for their benefit. First, be sure to keep food cold, always eating your fresh foods. This can be done by simply avoiding opening your fridge or freezer, to contain the cool temperatures. Do anything necessary, using ice or throwing out food that has been warmer than 40 degrees F. The next thing that can be done is preventing any power overloads since those can result in fire hazards. This can be done by unplugging appliances or shutting down the utilities if you suspect damage or if you have been instructed to. Lastly, do not use a gas or outdoor stove for heat or cooking. Also, if there is a generator in the building, be sure to keep it outside, away from windows in a well-ventilated area. 

These safety tips have been created with safety predominantly in mind. They are applicable and beneficial to all who find themselves in this or similar scenarios. With these precautions in mind, those affected by the storms can come out on the other side not only safely, but with minimal damages and maximum security. 

The Red Cross will continue to provide information as events progress. For more safety information, visit RedCross.org/Flood.

Photo courtesy of ABC12