Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The (Not So) Great Flood of 2014

Joe Gall braved the storm to capture some incredible photos.
See more here and check out the rest of his work at CameraJesus.com.

Well, I suppose we would be remiss if we didn't make some sort of mention of the epic floods that happened yesterday. The sun seems to be trying to peak out now, but the record amounts of rain yesterday left this city looking a little different than we're used to.

Former Hip In Detroiter Becca and I ventured downtown yesterday in the midst of the storm to show her family some of the sights of Detroit before heading to Rock City Eatery for dinner. You couldn't see much through the rain, but we still managed to give them glimpses of Hitsville, the Joe Louis Fist, and Heidelberg, amongst other Detroit favorites. After playing tour guide for a while, we headed towards Hamtramck just to be greeted by small lakes under every overpass. Becca's little Honda braved through it so we went to dinner, and thought nothing of it. When we decided to leave, we were faced with floods in every direction and the overwhelming feeling that we would never make it home.
Caniff was a river, 75 was a disaster, and the surface streets seemed to be the only way to make it home. Needless to say, those were horrible too. A 15-20 minute drive turned into more like 2 1/2 hours. We weren't alone though. Plenty of people were in the same boat. Many abandoned their cars, there were people in suits walking barefoot through the water, and there were reports of rides from Detroit to Ferndale taking over 4 hours. It was like a scene out of a movie, unlike anything our generation has ever seen in Detroit.

Perhaps one of the areas hit the worst of all was Warren. If you are familiar with this city at all, you may or may not know that there is a river that runs through it called Red Run. Well, a small river + a lot of rain = a big disaster. The river overflowed into the streets and parking lots. People were trapped at Buddy's Pizza and Lowe's on 13 and Van Dyke, some even over night. Mound Rd. was a lake. The Mayor was even on the news calling in the National Guard. It's chaos over there.

The wreckage was not only on the streets though. TONS of people throughout Metro Detroit are dealing with horrible flooding in their basements today. Some have it up to their knees, while others have it about 6' up. A basement flood is bad for everyone, but for anyone in a band, this is a nightmare. Where do most bands practice? A basement. Yonka House is flooded, Toepfer House is flooded, PAN Shop, the list goes on and on. The Detroit music community has been hit rather hard on this one. Facebook is flooded (too soon for that pun?) with bands talking about how all of their equipment is ruined. SUB, Snakewing and Against the Grain are just a few on the list. Our pals in Against the Grain had the unfortunate luck of losing a ton of their gear on the same day they announced their biggest tour to date, a run with Guttermouth and Voodoo Glow Skulls. They have already set up a gofundme and benefit show in hopes to be able to restore their setup before the tour in October. (The show is on September 12 at Corktown Tavern and if you'd like to donate through gofundme, click here.) We're sure there will be a lot more benefit shows and crowd funding campaigns popping up in the next few days to help other bands. We'll try our best to keep you in the loop on those.

The good news is that some of the streets are clearing up a bit and it hasn't rained in quite a few hours now. The bad news, there's more rain in the forecast. The even worse news is that it is going to be a while before Metro Detroit looks the same. Areas of 75 and the service drive are destroyed. Sink holes are being discovered after the rain finally drained away. And so many people's homes and yards are a mess.

So please, help your neighbors and friends during this time. If you see someone's car stuck, try to help them. If your basement or home is fine, go help your friends clean up theirs. Let's do what Detroit does best and band together to get through this. But on top of everything, let's stay safe, Detroit!


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