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State Police Urge Drivers To Avoid Freeways Heading Into Tuesday Morning

DETROIT (WWJ) - With heavy rains Monday evening, Michigan State Police are still advising drivers to avoid the freeways of Metro Detroit, especially I-696, I-75 and I-94 on the East Side.

They suggest using surface roads so M-DOT crews can can get the drains cleared-out on the highways.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said that in some areas there is nine feet of water covering the freeway.

"The one thing that we want to reiterate to everybody is that you don't have to travel over the freeway system overnight," Shaw said. "Nothing non-essential would be great -- that would give us an opportunity to get down there and clean up a lot of the cars that were abandoned during the flooding situation. It would also give M-DOT a chance to get some of those roads back open and get some of the flooding down."

It's also a slow go on many surface streets because of flooding and power outages. In some cases, people heading home have been on the road for six hours or more and still aren't home.

Shaw said that I-696 in Warren and I-94 in Detroit and Roseville were also flooded.

"There's parts of I-75 near I-696 that there's probably nine feet of water that's underneath some of those overpasses," Shaw said. "So we didn't see a lot of crashes due to the storm -- we saw more flooding more than anything else."

Shaw told WWJ on Monday evening that there were reports of flooding on every major freeway in metro Detroit.

"We're advising everyone, if you see standing water don't drive through it," Shaw said. "We're seeing a lot of cars, even at the top side-streets, that are taking some chances and as soon as that exhaust pipe gets under water you're stuck in there and it may take a while for somebody to come and get you out."

If you must drive, police offered the following tips:
·         Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
·         Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
·         Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
·         Do not try to take short cuts—they may be blocked. Stick to designated routes.

[For the weekend forecast and more, CLICK HERE].

For the latest, keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 during traffic and weather on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day. See live radar and the extended forecast anytime on the CBS Detroit weather page.

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