An extreme deluge nearly unprecedented in Detroit history brought the Motor City to a virtual standstill during the evening rush hour on Monday, with 4.57" of rain falling at the official measurement site at Detroit Metro Airport. The only wetter day in Detroit history (4.75") occurred on July 31 - August 1, 1925--over two years before the Ford Model A went into production. A slow-moving low pressure system tracked over Michigan on Monday, bringing thunderstorms that dumped 4 - 6" of rain
--nearly two months' worth--over Metro Detroit in just four hours. Many major expressways in the city remain closed today due to floodwaters and flood damage. The northern Detroit suburb of Warren, where 5" of rain fell, has declared a state of emergency. Over 1,000 vehicles have been abandoned on major thoroughfares,
and many more in neighborhoods. One person died in the storm--a heart attack victim found dead in her flooded car. All of Detroit's major expressways were closed due to flooding during the deluge; in my 40 years living in the area, I've never seen a flood do that. Detroit radar
shows that a new round of showers is affecting the area this afternoon, which will slow efforts to drain the water off of blocked roads.Figure 1.
I-94 East in Detroit at Livernois on August 11, 2014. Image posted to Twitter by Ali B. (@AABaydoun.)Figure 2.
Erosion damage to I-75 South near I-696 in Detroit on August 12, 2014. Image credit: @MDOT_MetroDet via Twitter.Figure 3.
Rainfall amounts in the 24-hour period ending at noon EDT August 12, 2014, for Southeast Michigan. A wide area of 4+ inches of rain fell across Detroit and its northern suburbs. Image credit: National Weather Service.Figure 4.
The Rouge River in Detroit crested 4.5' above flood stage on Tuesday morning, August 12, 2014. This was the 5th highest crest since 1950. Fortunately, there are not many homes and businesses in the Rouge River flood plain in Detroit. Image credit: NOAA.
Thanks go to TWC's Jon Erdman and Nick Wiltgen for some of the links in this post. TWC has a good article
with many images of the historic flood.