Floodwaters shut down busy I-75 and I-696 interchange

HAZEL PARK, Mich. - One of the busiest interchanges in Michigan remains closed because of flood waters.

Water levels at I-696 and I-75 have risen 14 feet, nearly touching the connector bridge. Those who got caught Monday night in the torrential rains said the water rose rapidly, giving them little time to react. Vehicles started floating down the interstates as panicked drivers scrambled to get to dry land.

"We watched two cars go under. One guy was trying to push his car out and it just kept turning around on him," said Todd Hicks.

Hicks' own work truck was stranded on southbound I-75 at 9 Mile Road.

"I asked a semi-truck that was coming through it, you know, I said, 'I'll pay you to push me out.' They said, 'We can't stop,'" Hicks said.

As the water started to recede Tuesday, several abandoned vehicles started to appear from under the murky waters.

Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross said once the waters clear, there are still some other things that could keep roadways closed for longer.

"We're talking about truly the center of metro Detroit. Every freeway has been affected. We have had an aging infrastructure, we've had some copper theft, we've had generators and pumps that are just overwhelmed by the large volume of rain that we've had. There's a lot of factors that are all going on at the same time," she said. "We've never had so much mud and debris slide down a freeway slope onto the roadway."

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