Water main break traps Detroit Police officers, puts neighborhood under water

Detroit water main break floods neighborhood on city's southwest side

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - A broken water main flooded a several-block area in southwest Detroit on Tuesday, trapping several cars.

Among the vehicles trapped by the rising water from the city's latest water main break was a police car, which crews pushed from the icy water using a construction vehicle.

Sky4 over the scene showed the affected was an area roughly five blocks by three blocks near McKinley and Buchanan. The water current was strong, breaking up chunks of concrete.

Michael Hooks' taxi got stuck in the water-ice mixture, and the 55-year-old Detroiter said he was rescued by a firefighter.

"The fireman came and got me out — put me on his shoulder," Hooks said. "Thank you, Detroit firemen."

Barron Warren said he didn't even see the water until it was too late. It quickly surrounded his Ford Taurus.

"I was scared to death," he said.

Darryl Latimer, deputy director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, said the constant freeze and thaw has taken a toll on the pipes.

"It's a combination of cold weather. Water temperature gets a certain temperature in the pipes, it puts a lot of stress on the pipes," Latimer said. 

The water valves in the area have been turned off and work crews have been pumping the street to clear it. Most of the area is expected to be back open by Tuesday evening. However, a section of Buchanan Street will remain closed for repair of the actual 30-inch break.

Such breaks have been common in Detroit amid the persistent cold. On Friday, street flooding caused by a water main break on the city's east side left several vehicles stuck in water and ice, prompting a rescue by police officers on construction equipment.

Read more: Massive water main break traps cars on Gratiot Avenue

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