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Beline Obeid
Cars splash through on Vernier in Grosse Pointe Woods Monday night. More than 6 inches of rain fell in parts of Metro Detroit, closing freeways, roads and businesses. photo by Renee Landuyt.

August 14, 2014
Homeowners with flooded basements won't agree, but the worst of Monday's storm hit the streets around Grosse Pointe and Metro Detroit.

More than 6 inches of rain fell in spots, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded and highways closed around town. Sections of I-94, I-696 and I-75 were hard hit, along with M-10 and M-39, the Lodge and Southfield freeways.

Reports of 14 feet of standing water were the reason for closures at I-75 and I-696, snarling traffic Monday night and all day Tuesday.

Dozens of businesses were closed because of damage, including the Warren Tech Center and the Detroit Zoo.

Around the Grosse Pointes, back-to-back Monday rains hampered operations at Lake Front Park, the city park for Grosse Pointe Woods located in St. Clair Shores (see pages 3A and 4A for details).

Grosse Pointe Park reports minor damage from more than 3 inches of rain (see page 4A for story).

Grosse Pointe Farms Mayor James Farquhar told the Grosse Pointe News damage appeared minimal after a tour of his city, while Richard Van Gorder, manager of buildings and grounds for the Grosse Pointe Public School System said minor leaks were issues at a couple buildings.

His crews assisted where needed Monday night and Tuesday. Work on a new roof on Brownell Middle School caused minor leaks. Power was lost at Monteith Elementary School for a few hours during the storm, but was restored by Tuesday morning.

Grosse Pointe South had a small leak, causing a problem with a few ceiling tiles.

Flooded basements were reported in all five Pointes Tuesday. Insurance agents were busy making calls on their clients.

"We had calls from homeowners, businesses and apartment renters," said Ed Lazar, a State Farm agent in Grosse Pointe Woods. "It's been crazy since last night. My cell phone and the call center was busy all night."

Lazar said his goal is to pool resources and get claims faster for clients. But his goal Tuesday was to visit as many of his customers as he could.

"I'm receiving a lot of calls asking about their coverage," Lazar said, pointing to a special "water back-up" endorsement that costs $75 a year for $10,000 in water damage coverage.

"A lot of people say no to save money. Right now, they wish they hadn't. It's worth the little extra."

Lazar said car damage from the flood waters on the roadways is typically covered under comprehensive coverage, even if the driver tries to drive through the water.

"It's not smart to do that, it's dangerous," Lazar said. "But they're likely covered."

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