High water levels plaguing metro Detroit, Harrison Township roads underwater

Stop if you've heard this one before: Water levels are high.

They're high on Lake Huron, where the Detroit River is spilling over into the city. They're high on Lake Erie, magnifying the likelihood of harmful algal blooms occurring. They're high on Lake Superior, where the lake will likely break records for water height this summer.

And yes, the water levels in your community are probably high as well.

"Jefferson and South River Road, it's right over the sidewalk right now. And it's actually flooding the streets," said Jim Whidden.

Whidden lives in Harrison Township, which has been inundated with the same problem that much of the Great Lakes communities are dealing with: high water levels.

"It's getting to that point where we can get through slow," Whidden said. "My wife hasn't left in a few days - she's afraid to get out. There are several thousand residents in this subdivision."

The flooding that Whidden is worried about didn't just start on Wednesday. It's been a problem for residents for the past few weeks. Flooding on the streets, on the properties and even on the river, if that was possible.


Officials with the township explained that its water levels are high because water levels are high everywhere. Larger bodies of water are amplifying the problem for smaller communities. 

"The big issue with flooding over South River is the Lake St. Clair Metro Park marsh is reflective of the level of the lake," said Ken Verkest, supervisor for the township, "and it's actually coming across the road and flooding that area and there's really no way to pump that volume of water."

Officials do have a plan in place. They're building a bigger berm to hold back the water. They also have a contractor lined up, as well as Miss Dig. As soon as they're given clearance, construction will begin on a part of South River Road.

They hope to have it done by Friday.

In the meantime, residents can - and stop if you've heard this tidbit of advice before - sandbag their properties for protection.

"I've got them sitting in my car, ready to go," said Jessica Yatooma, another Harrison Township resident.

The last time a big flood hit the area was in the 80s. While berms and sandbags will help, many are just hoping for a little help from the sun.