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Posted on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Severe thunderstorms flood streets, knock out power in Ann Arbor

By John Counts


Cars drive along a flooded East University Avenue in Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Robert Norris

Severe storms that brought a pre-Fourth of July display of lights in the sky rolled through Ann Arbor Thursday.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rains whipped through the area and were expected to continue until 5 p.m. Several streets were reported flooded in Ann Arbor, and lights flickered downtown.

The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory, effective until 8 p.m. for Washtenaw County. Excessive runoff from this storm will cause minor flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, the weather service said.


The Kline lot at Ashley and William was flooded after the storm Thursday

Photo submitted by Caroline Schuerman

Ann Arbor police were responding to several areas in the city around 4:45 p.m. Sgt. Mike Scherba said the intersection of First and Kingsley streets experienced the worst amount of flooding.

“There’s a lot of water on the ground still,” he said.

Other flooded intersections included Packard and Madison streets, State and Hill streets and Huron Parkway and Washtenaw Avenue. Scherba said cars were getting stuck in the intersections.

There was also extensive flooding reported at the city parking lot at First and William streets.

Depot Street, which was underwater Wednesday due to a water main break, also experienced flooding and a car appeared to have stalled in the street.

The National Weather Service said the Warren Road underpass at U.S. 23 north of Ann Arbor was flooded and closed.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Washtenaw County effective until 5 p.m.

At 4:08 p.m. a storm moved through in a southeasterly direction at 5 mph, according to the weather service. The storm was capable of bringing quarter size hail and 60 mph wind gusts. Damage to vehicles was possible, the weather service said.


An SUV makes a splash on flooded Fuller Street.

Courtney Sacco |

The DTE Energy Power Outage map showed a few scattered outages in the Ann Arbor area. The largest, affecting about 1,300 customers, straddled parts of Pittsfield, York and Ypsilanti townships. Restoration was expected between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Another stretched across Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor from Pauline Boulevard on the north to roughly Avendale Avenue on the south. That outage was affecting 472 customers. Restoration was expected between 6 and 8 p.m.

Joyce Williams with Huron Valley Ambulance said there were numerous reports of vehicle crashes Thursday evening around the time the storm passed through, including M-14 and Main Street, Interstate 94 and Huron and U.S> 23 at Geddes.

Williams said there were no major injuries.

See a video of flooding on East University between Hill Street and South University below:

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Former Townie traveling to A2. I heard the flooding was pretty bad & I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if EV charging stations are in service? Thanks and I hope everyone is recovering from the storms.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

For the most part the city has dried out and things are back to usual. The charging stations around town should be ready and waiting for you.


Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

Saw a guy named Noah down at Fingerle's Lumber: he was buying up all the gopher wood planks they had. He was mumbling something about "the fountains of the Deep breaking open." ;-)


Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 10 a.m.

How is Fingerle's doing? That's a lot of water. I'd be interested in seeing an article on that.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

Chapin between Miller and Huron flooded over the curbs. When will the city take action on our storm sewer systems?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

I always find it funny how surprised people are that the Allen creek valley floods during quick, heavy rains. Putting a creek underground into a pipe of limited capacity is just such a dumb idea. Pave the rest of the city all around it, and you have a recipe for repeated flooding like this. The other thing that's funny is how fast is recedes once the rain tapers off and the drainage ability catches up. Wonder if the kayakers made it home in time not to get stranded... haha.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

What was the official rain amount for yesterday?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1 p.m.

This is what I am trying to find out also. shows 0.8 inches yesterday, and the national weather service lists 1.36. From how highly variable the rains really were, I wouldn't be surprised if most of downtown Ann Arbor actually got a full 2 inches.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.

Holy moly!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

They'll need to send FEMA into the Lawton area.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Looked at the pictures you posted from around town and I swear some of them looked like they were from Venice, Italy. Just think last year year we were praying for rain and today we're praying it stops.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

Perhaps would like to issue a public service announcement. People should NOT be driving in water this high. Major damage can occur to your brakes, manifold, exhaust system, etc... Engine parts can heat up quickly and then when they are suddenly exposed to COLD water, they can warp and sometimes crack. Engine blocks can go very quickly and they are VERY expensive to replace........... STAY OFF THE ROADS PEOPLE!


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Nope, as an automotive engineer, I have to almost completely disagree. The only real danger from driving through deep water is ingestion into the engine causing hydrolock. Engine blocks do not crack from a dousing of cool water. Unless you come right off a race track and drive into an icy puddle, the brakes will be just fine too. It remains a very, very bad idea to drive through deep water, please don't try it, people.

Detached Observer

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:54 a.m.

Even shallow water can splash up on your distributor and short out your whole electrical system.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Good advice!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

JBK, the NWS does warn people a lot times when they issue a flash flood advisory. If you don't know how deep it is don't drive through it.

Ann English

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

The crashes were probably caused by limited visibility; rain can come down so hard, even having your windshield wipers on high can't clear the rain so that you can see what's ahead of you.

Richard Carter

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

Out near Gabriel Richard and Arbor Lakes area, a municipal-looking vehicle was stopping and clearing out storm drain openings a little after 5.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

6:25 It is pouring again on the west side, have the warnings been extended?

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Not that we've heard, but the initial warning from the frist round of rain was pretty late so I wouldn't be surprised for the same to happen again.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Looks like Kyle is driving during that Vine. Doesn't seem like a very smart thing to do just for some vine video on, especially wile driving through a flooded road.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Definitely a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do moment. My little Ford Focus made it through but there were many other spots I was not risking it.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

I'm mapping these reports, and those I see on twitter, here: So far, no reports from Ypsi?

Detached Observer

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

Nice map. Thanks for doing this.

Peter Hochgraf

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

Huron River Dr. East of Huron Parkway at Elmwood is flooded. Wall St. at Maiden Ln Ct. is extremely flooded, probably close to 6" or more. Depot is no longer flooded, as well as Huron Pkw @ Washtenaw.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

Thanks for sharing that murph! We haven't heard of any similar reports out of the Ypsi area.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

Many accidents, trees and wires down in many places.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Clark Road just east of Hogback.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

I'm glad days like these are so few and far between. I had a GMC Sierra for 10 years before trading it in for a Ford Fusion due to fuel economy. But it sits so low that navigating through floods like these makes me want to drive another truck that sits up high again. But as I said, days like these are few and far between. Stay safe, Ann Arbor.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

And they just keep coming.....


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

A moat had formed beneath the train trestle at Huron and 1st Ave (west) and everywhere, the manhole covers are small geysers of brackish rainwater. Should be better out there by now though... this was around 5.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

sorry - on Huron. (most important part missing)


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Amazing amount of flooding out there. The Arborland parking lot has many flooded areas, as well as Fuller Rd near Huron HS. The Huron Parkway and Wash ave are flooded in many spots. Lights are out at many intersections.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

If you have any photos or video you'd like to share with us, you can do so here:

John Counts

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

We have pictures and videos coming in from both staff members and readers and are working to get them up.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Keep the photos coming, too. My teenager was convinced that it would be fine to head out and drive downtown until we saw these photos!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

Storm drains are probably full of debris, exaggerating the problems.

Ann English

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

I guess the residents on Snyder cleared their drains in advance of this rain; they had been flooded during the Dexter tornado last year. Main Street south of Keech seems to be all right; I'm not reading of any reports of flooding there on Berkley, Potter or Snyder.

Jared Mauch

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

I know after the Dexter tornado this was the case, a lot of debris was in the way and the flooding was fixed by people pulling the stuff out and allowing the drains to do their job. Use caution if you do this to stay safe!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Great point, treetowncartel. I have seen a lot of clogged drains. I regularly check mine, but I'll head out now and make sure it's clear!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

Are cholera and typhoid prophylactics standard items at UM Hospital, or do they special order them after things like this?


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

Go blue! Good pic of UM students doing good!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

S. Main St just passed Packard before Madison. Right in front of HookLogic/the Repair Shop

John Counts

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

Let us know where you see any flooding.