Yes, the Pacific Northwest is on fire. Portland, Oregon was hotter on both Saturday and Sunday than Houston or Miami has ever been
. But another extremely unusual weather event happened over the weekend that may have equally lasting consequence: Detroit experienced one of its worst flash floods in history.
Late on Friday, June 25, several lines of heavy downpours dropped over six inches of rain in parts of the Detroit metro area in just a few hours.
An estimated 1000 vehicles
were left underwater — the Michigan State Police said
that roads were “littered with abandoned vehicles” and 911 services were overwhelmed as authorities performed dozens of high water rescues.
The sudden deluges have created enormous problems. Incredible images of ponding on roadways, stranded vehicles, and flooded basements made it immediately clear that this was a major flood with major consequences.
A Currently reader sent in this report:
One of my good friends lives in Dearborn, which has been hit very heavily by the floods. Her basement is more than 4 feet underwater and her fridge is floating. Finished basements are very common in Dearborn, so her story is far from uncommon. This is going to cause incredible amounts of property damage to an already underserved community. A lot of people are about to have catastrophic water damage.
The city of Detroit has set up a special website
for folks who were affected by the flooding to apply for financial assistance, and the American Red Cross has been mobilized to coordinate relief services.
So just how unusual is it to see this type of heavy rainfall event in Detroit? Based on statistical modeling, we would expect to see 3-hr rainfall exceed 5” approximately once every 500 years
in a stable climate. It’s fair to say that under the current climate, the odds are already much more likely than this. Recent climate trends point towards
both increased annual precipitation and more extreme precipitation events like this one for our region. — Dean Fogarasi
and Eric Holthaus