Flood prevention: Steps to mitigate your home’s flood risk ahead of heavy rains

Actions you can take to help prevent flooding in your area

There are some steps you can take to help prevent or mitigate flooding in your neighborhood and near your home ahead of incoming storms.

Showers and storms are heading for Metro Detroit this week, and they are expected to drop several inches of rain across the region through Thursday.

A flood watch has been issued for 11 southeastern Michigan counties ahead of the wet weather, which may produce torrential downpours across an area that has been inundated with heavy rains all summer.

See the entire forecast here.

There are some steps you can take to mitigate the flooding risk at your home ahead of severe weather.

First, be sure to clear any garbage or debris from the storm drains on your street and even on the main road near where you live, if it is safe to do so. Storm drains divert rainwater and prevent flooding if they are not clogged, so it is important that they are able to do their job.

You should also extend your gutter away from your home. This can be done by purchasing a piece of gutter or a pipe and attaching it to the end of your existing gutter.

Doing so will help diver the rainwater on your roof to the ground further away from your house.

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

More: Weather

Safety tips during a storm

  • Stay at least 20 feet away from downed power lines and anything they are in contact with, including puddles of water and fences. Keep children and pets away too.
  • Be extremely cautious near metal fences, which conduct electricity, following a severe storm. Electric current will be the strongest where a downed power line is touching a metal fence. Even a connecting fence several backyards away can be energized and dangerous.
  • Never cross yellow barrier tape. It may be around downed power lines.
  • Never drive across downed power lines. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside your car until emergency help arrives.
  • A live power line may spark and whip around as it looks for a ground. A ground is the earth or something touching the earth, like a fence or a tree. A live wire that has found its ground may lie silently, but it is still dangerous. Report a downed power line online, on the DTE Energy Mobile App or call us them at 800-477-4747.
  • Cable or telephone lines can be energized if they come in contact with electrical lines. Contact with any energized power line can be fatal.

About the Author:

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories.