Preventing flooding is a major priority in Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget

Funding could cost overall costs

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is rolling out some of her budget priorities for the year. One of the things she wants to prevent from happening again is the terrible flooding people around Metro Detroit experienced last summer. She’s trying to cut the cost and the major inconvenience it caused.

LANSING, Mich.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is rolling out some of her budget priorities for the year.

One of the things she wants to prevent from happening again is the terrible flooding people around Metro Detroit experienced last summer. She’s trying to cut the cost and the major inconvenience it caused.

There is no shortage of money to be spent. The area of I-94 and Van Dyke Avenue is one of many sections of the highway that flooded last summer, snarling traffic and causing a lot of damage.

The power went out and MDOT had only a handful of portable backup generators. Everyone wondered why we didn’t have backup generators. Well, they are likely on the way.

Metro Detroit rains came with a vengeance, six or seven inches in hours twice last summer. Highways flooded and cars were stuck in muck for days until they could be towed.

With the power out, 140 Metro Detroit highway pumps sat idle. The state spent half a million dollars repairing crumbling asphalt.

Whitmer will put in her budget proposal, $66 million for reliable generator backup in 164 state-owned pumping stations -- and add another $34 million in high water infrastructure grants for local governments.

In a statement, Whitmer said, “investing in flooding prevention will save thousands of homes from thousands in damage and keep transportation lines clear for first responders, businesses, and families.”

“I think that even where we have the 100-year flood and the 500-year flood within two months of each other, it was obvious to everybody that we needed to do this,” MDOT Director Paul Ajegba said.

Appropriations Committee chair Sen. Jim Stamas said the Senate greenlit roughly the same plan back in December.

“Truly the generators and the pump stations definitely need updating. These are the long-term infrastructure projects that are going to make a difference for our state that we’ve been working on in the Senate,” Stamas said.

Whitmer will drop her budget proposal Wednesday (Feb. 9) in Lansing. It’s an annual event coming the week after the State of the State.

Read: More Michigan news coverage


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.