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Transportation & Infrastructure

MDOT says it's prepared for freeway flooding in metro Detroit this week

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The flooded I-75/I-696 interchange after heavy rainfall in 2014.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says it’s prepared to handle the threat of freeway flooding in metro Detroit.

Many of metro Detroit’s freeways are below-ground, and there have been some serious flooding episodes in the past few years.

But MDOT believes it has the infrastructure to handle the combination of heavy rain and snowmelt that’s expected through mid-week. A flood watch is in effect for the entire southern lower half of Michigan through Wednesday afternoon.

MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross says the agency has hundreds of pump houses throughout the region that pump water up and out of low-lying roadways, and they are priorities for regular inspection and maintenance.

“We are not concerned” about freeway flooding, Cross said. “It is part of our regular way of doing business here in this part of the state.”

Cross says there were couple of minor roadway flooding issues on Monday, but “for the most part” the pump houses are keeping the roads clear.

“The only time they usually don’t work may be a power outage,” she said. “But so far that’s not been a problem, despite all the rain and melting snow.”

But Cross warns drivers still need to slow down and be careful when driving through any amount of standing water: “For all you know there may be a pothole, or something in the roadway, in that water.”

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