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'We're Worried' Hackel Says, With Clinton River At Record-High Level And Rising

MT. CLEMENS (WWJ) - The Clinton River is at what may be an all-time high — and it's rapidly rising.

That's the word from Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel following Monday night's drenching downpour that left much of metro Detroit under water.

"I'm here right now, actually by the Clinton River, looking at it in Mount Clemens, and boy...I haven't seen it this high in quite some time," Hackel said, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950 Tuesday.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel Surveys Clinton River Flooding
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Vicki Wolber Macomb County Emergency Management Director. (credit: Macomb County)

"We're talking today it's like 16.3 feet; we know it's because of that watershed and the water that's, you know, in the storm drains and starting to come on down this way — and boy, it's moving pretty rapidly and increasing, obviously, in its height here," Hackel said.

"...We're worried about that because it's gonna cause some more problems for roads in and around the city, as well as some of the parks and other areas and businesses."

Hackel said flooding along the Clinton River is going to be a concern for the rest of the day.

He's not anticipating evacuations will be necessary — but  officials will be keeping an eye on the situation.

"We are concerned and we're going to be monitoring it," Hackel said. "Our emergency services coordinator; she's been in the offices ever since last night, and working with various municipalities and their emergency management teams."

INTERVIEW: Mark Hackel

The heavy rains flooded freeways, forcing an estimated 1,000 motorists to abandon their vehicles.

A muddy I-696 was closed near Van Dyke. Hayes Road was closed in many spots because of flooding and a reported sink hole.

Hackel said the south end of Macomb County was hit the hardest.

"I know they had some issues, as far as some flooding, in Sterling Heights — their city offices and the police department, and the city of Warren, obviously," said Hackel. "Those seem to be the biggest two, as far as the impact."

Hackel said the county will be reaching out to see what it can do to assist in Warren, where Mayor Jim Fouts is calling on the government for help cleaning up after Fouts says the storms left the city in shambles. [More on this HERE].

Linda Gleecai of Sterling Heights said she couldn't managed to forge through the flood waters there.

"I get out of my car,  take off my shoes — and barefoot — push my own car onto the shore area," Gleecai said. "Nobody was helping. Everybody was just driving by and going about their business."

In St. Clair Shores the city's sewer system and storm drains are on separate systems, but both were over capacity and there was flooding in homes and on the roads, officials said.

State transportation officials are putting emergency pumps in place and bringing in crews to clear freeways of water.

MORE: Gov. Snyder On Storm Cleanup: It's OK, We Were Prepared For This

State Activates Emergency Operations Center After Storm Dumps Over 5 Inches Of Rain

Official: Woman Dies After Being Trapped Inside Car In 3-Feet Of Water

Detroit Zoo Closed Tuesday For Cleanup After Record-Breaking Rainfall

Know before you go: Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s.

Sign up for severe weather text alerts: Text STORM to 95001
For daily weather forecast text alerts: Text FORECAST to 95001


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