We had a near-biblical amount of rain here in Metro Detroit on Friday night. I woke up around 1am to the sound of rain hitting our windows so hard I thought they might break. Luckily everything was closed up tight, so I tried to go back to bed.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, it was to a text from my wife saying that though she had made it to work at 5am, she had passed 67 (no, seriously, 67!) stalled or abandoned cars on her way into work. She drives to work around 4:30am and typically takes the highway for about 70% of the journey. She said there was no flooding present, but obviously there had been some significant rains causing it overnight, probably around peak get-home-from-the-bar time.
In addition to that, she said she witnessed multiple people driving the wrong way, or just straight up walking (walking!) on the highway. Trying to either get their cars back up and running again, or just wandering around wondering what to do.
Sounds like a wild night! So, I flip on the news. Turns out, there's still some pretty widespread flooding. Naturally, I hit the road on my bike to see what's what.
I met up with a friend who lives on the east side and we rode around following the major interstates that slice through downtown, wandering from one overpass to the next just surveying the carnage. The sheer amount of stalled vehicles is just alarming. During the 10-minute period we were camped out over I-75, we actually witnessed the state police, or some contractor removing a late-model Taurus with a large digger with a fork-lift attachment.
Then, not 5 minutes later, a bunch of semis thought it would be a good idea to try and drive through. They started to make it, so naturally a bunch of pickups and SUVs thought they'd try it as well. We witnessed three CUV's (Equinox-sized) drive through but hydrolock themselves and stall on the other side. Luckily, most people seemed to decide that was a bad idea and started turning around.
Here's your friendly reminder that you shouldn't drive through massive puddles!
We kept riding from there, picking up I-94 along Midtown near the M-10 freeway, and started seeing some genuine carnage. Thus began a roughly two hour journey of us hopping from one overpass to the next, each time seeing worse destruction than the one before.
We finally ended up on one stretch of I-94 with a moderate sized lake at least 1/4 mile long. There were so many truckers stranded in it I lost count. Several of them were still hanging out in there cabs, and had probably been there since 1am. It was deep enough that it was above windshield height on some of the semis, and there were definitely submerged cars in there that we couldn't see.
We also saw state police divers along this stretch, undoubtedly checking submerged cars to be sure no one was trapped inside. The water here was getting seriously deep, we could tell from a nearby overpass it was likely above 10' in depth.
At this point we were getting exhausted and sunburned despite the overcast clouds, and honestly a little depressed at all the destruction. We were both remarkably lucky to have not been caught out driving in this weather, and we both made out with only some mild flooding in our basements (which we still had yet to deal with).
So, just a friendly reminder, and I can't believe I have to say this again, but DON'T DRIVE YOUR SHIT THROUGH WATER! Here's a lovely 944 that we saw out sightseeing for your time