The Great Flood of 2007
Posted by mesablue on July 13, 2007
I survived the Chicago Flood of 1992.
Little did I know that just fifteen years later, I would be faced with another inundation of the deadly dihydrogen monoxide.
LIVONIA — A freakishly massive water main break stranded motorists atop cars Thursday, closed I-96 for hours and prompted water shortage worries in the western suburbs.
‘It came like a geyser’
It started when a crack appeared in the main along the eastbound I-96 service drive, Schoolcraft Road. The pipe is reinforced with steel and concrete, but burst just 1½ miles away in 2003, said Terrence King, assistant director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
Pumping at 120 pounds per square inch, the water blew a 15-by-15-foot hole in the service drive, sending a fast-moving waterfall onto eastbound Interstate 96. Within 90 minutes, both directions of the interstate were closed.
“It started to bleed up from the ground,” said Tim Richards, a water and sewer supervisor for Livonia.
“The concrete buckled, and it came up like a geyser — 3 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet in diameter. The water came cascading down onto the freeway within minutes. It was deep enough that cars couldn’t drive and the freeway was completely inundated within a half hour.”
Passer-by Jordan Gray, 18, of Livonia witnessed the chaos from Schoolcraft and Middle Belt.
“I saw water seeping through the cracks in the barrier and there was a Jeep, Pontiac and a Saturn stuck in the water,” he said. “All you could see of that Saturn was the roof of the car.”
King maintained that crews erected cones and other barriers that stranded motorists ignored.
“These people were determined to go around the barricades and went into the water,” he said