Flooding, Power Outages Across Rochester After Storm

Rain remains in the forecast through Saturday afternoon.

A heavy storm fell on the Rochester area on Friday, right around the time commuters were heading home from work.

Reports of flooding and power outages quickly followed. One of the hardest-hit areas seemed to be near the Hampton Shopping Center area of Rochester Hills and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Streets, cars and mailboxes were seen under water; the Hampton Golf Course flooded, too.

"I’ve lived her for nine years and it’s never flooded like this," said Elspeth Coats, who lives in the Hampton subdivision.

On the Rochester Patch Facebook page, residents talked about trying to drive on a flooding Rochester Road — a sight they said they had never seen before.

More than an inch of rain fell in the storm, which started in Rochester shortly before 5 p.m.

About 550 DTE Energy customers in Rochester Hills and Oakland Township lost power. The most widespread power outage was between Adams and Brewster, south of Tienken Road. Power was expected to be restored early Saturday morning.  

The heavy rain caused the Clinton River to overflow its banks on Auburn Road near Opdyke Road just over the Rochester Hills city limit. Kyla Schroeder shared with Rochester Patch a photo of the Country Kitchen restaurant in nearby Auburn Hills partly under water.

More rain and possibly another thunderstorm were in the forecast overnight Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Rain was expected to continue Saturday until about 3 p.m.

Leo August 11, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Wow looks like Norfolk again here. Hope it recedes soon
Peter Griffin August 11, 2012 at 03:31 AM
the Target strip mall was bad -- many stores were cleaning water from inside their doorways -- we saw mulch all over the sidewalk by the store enterances (meaning that the water was once that high). There were at least half a dozen cars in water that was up to the door belt line. We saw one guy in a Malibu bailing water from his footwells after the water drained from the parking lot. Nice parking lot design at the Target strip mall -- any large quantities of water will drain right toward the stores - in addition to runaway carts ramming cars that are parked close to the stores. Nice sloping parking lot. The corner of Thalia and Pine Street flooded AGAIN. We were driving thru the North Hill Sub and saw a blue car stuck in the water up to the windows. That is probably a total loss. Water was slowly making its way toward the doorways of the homes at that corner too -- hopefully nobody got water in their home.
Peter Griffin August 11, 2012 at 03:33 AM
I used to eat lunch at the Country Kitchen when I worked in Pontiac. That's too bad -- fun place to eat. That area of Opdyke always floods.
Theresa Konno August 11, 2012 at 03:41 AM
I live at The Essex at Hampton apartments. The whole parking lot in front of my building was taken by the water. Many residents had their cars flooded. I was one of them, unfortunately. I had never seen anything close to this before.
Scot Beaton August 11, 2012 at 06:40 AM
4x4 driver, 
That parking lot -- the entire strip mall -- Oakland County's largest -- LOL -- The land was once the Ferry-Morse Seed Co.* -- and the land was flat as a pancake. Heard -- don't quote me -- you could have picked up the entire Target Mall property in the mid 70's for only $55 grand. Some brainy act civil engineer sloped the parking lot on purpose to keep snow and water runoff off the parking lot so the asphalt would last longer. Guess they forgot where all the water would go. P.S. All the storm water runoff exits the Hampton Village Mall into Hampton... note: could miscalculated strip mall engineering explain all the excess flooding? *In 1902, The D.M. Ferry Co. needed more room for experimentation, so it bought 568 acres in Avon Township, now Rochester Hills.
Michael Pearson August 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM
My Mini cooper was sliiiiightly disadvantaged driving up Rochester Rd. Well done local drivers for driving sensibly in those conditions.
Kristin Bull (Editor) August 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Update: About 250 DTE customers still without power this morning.
Peter Griffin August 11, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Scot -- I guess it's true from what I heard back in my college days..... "if a person cannot handle mechanical or electrical engineering, they go into civil engineering" -- anyway, a buddy of mine said he heard that the slope was created as a kind of natural "cart return" for Target. But, all that did was make carts really pick up steam when the wind blows from west to east. I saved a nice black Mustang once....I was getting in my truck and saw a runaway cart heading toward a nice black Mustang (downhill)...I jumped out and sprinted toward the cart and caught it about 10 or 15 feet before it would have crashed into the door of the Mustang. I always tell my wife to park at the top of that hill -- for shopping cart protection. But now another reason for parking at the top of the hill is for flood protection.
Peter Griffin August 11, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Back in June - July of 2001, my wife had an appointment at the doctor's building at Rochester Rd and Square Lake. She parked her 1997 Sunfire in the middle of the parking lot during a rain storm. I met her there and parked my truck in the corner of the lot. We came out of the office and saw that her car was in a flooded parking lot -- water up to almost the middle of the door. I peeked inside and saw that water was already in her Sunfire -- we waited about 30 min for the outside water level to decrease slightly (didn't want to suck water into the exhaust). I opened the door, got in, and tried to start the car. It started right up! (High Output Quad 4 engine was very reliable for us) The water was about 3" below the top of the bun cushion (where you sit on the seat) and all 4 foot wells were full of water. I gave her my truck to drive home (2000 4x4 Silverado with larger tires -- water not an issue) and I drove her Sunfire. I opened the door at every left and right turn to slosh the water out while driving. When I got home, I used my 10-15 gallon large shop vac and filled it 3 times while removing the rest of the water.
Peter Griffin August 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Sunfire cont - The guy in the body shop told me that if the water would have crested the bun cushion, the insurance would have considered it totaled. The water was below that point, so they replaced the jute, carpet, and all modules that were under the seat. They dried the car completely and it smelled new again (probably from the new carpet) when we picked it up --- all for the $100 deductable! We sold the car that fall (not because of the water repair -- we were expecting and needed something bigger) and noticed that carfax (new service in 2001) DIDN'T have record of the flood damage/repair!!!!! We did give all receipts to new buyer and let them know exactly what the cars history was with the water damage/repair. Since the car was 4 years old, and only had 30,000 miles on it, they didn't seem to care. The car still looked and smelled like new when we sold it. It still ran great -- just like a new car. That was a fun car to drive.
Dorothy August 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM
DTE stinks and it is only going to get worse with climate change. I'm around Tienken and Livernois. 53 of us have lost our power three times in the last six weeks. It's a pattern for this tiny section of our sub. This time it went out at 5 pm yesterday, and we still have nothing including a guess as to when DTE plans to fix it. Apparently it's the weekend, and they decided not to bring in help because money is more important than their customers. If you're fed up with losing your power, file a complaint with the Public Service Commission. If I had electricity, I'd find and leave the link. In the mean time, I'm going to start paying their bill with the same concern and attention they give me.
Scot Beaton August 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
http://www.power4home.com "Power4Home system that is currently slashing America’s bills! -- When I became frustrated with the wildly fluctuating rates forced upon me by my local utility company, I committed my decade of experience as an electrician to finding new and affordable ways for everyday people to begin generating their own power. In order to work around the ties between the power companies and the government’s regulatory laws, I knew I was going to have to think outside the box… And that meant doing something unconventional that nobody else was doing." -- John Russel
Marty Rosalik August 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Scot, the Power 4 Home guy is selling snake oil. He makes outrageous claims on how much power you can get for under $200 in parts. I sat through all his video sales pitches and not once did he even mention the cost, equipment, or permits required in order to sell power back to DTE. In fact he never even referenced the fact that solar voltaic and most wind generators produce Direct Current DC not the 60 Hz AC that DTE provides.
Frank D. August 12, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I live in the same area and these outages have nothing to do with fallen trees or broken branches..it is nothing more than a cheap grid system with auto breakers...they flip out once an anomaly is noticed...Hence, these DTE guys NEED to come out..(no fail safe systems are in place as that will infringe with their skilled trade pride) and last but not least, they will do the lowest amount of outages last..I was without power till noon today and we had about 100 people out..our power grid is similar like the one I have seen in third world countries... A little wind, some lightening and thunder and voila ....no power for days.. You have to love DTE
Scot Beaton August 12, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Marty, great to hear from you -- you would know --thought it may sound too good to be true -- had not had the time to give his pitch a thural investigation. I do know our Mayor receives political contributions from DTE -- lets hope he still picks up the phone once and awhile and puts in a complaint for the residents.
Dorothy August 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM
The sell fracked oil. Not me. Besides, I'm angry at the power outages, not the bill.
Dorothy August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Frank D. Thank you for the information. Our 53 houses on the crappy power line are trying to organize. DTE told me to call the city to complain. They put it in when the sub was built. I'm going to try, but in the mean time, will everyone please file a complaint the Michigan Public Services Commission. You can call 1-800-292-9555 or file your complaint online. http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-16368_16415---,00.html
dk August 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
It is also comes from fracked oil. I turned them down. I'm angry because of the frequent power outages, not the bill.
Marty Rosalik August 12, 2012 at 03:16 PM
@ Oakland Power 4 Home fracked oil? Or did I missread? The too long presentation was about do it yourself solar and wind. I saw nothing about oil. He makes claims that for just about $200 you can get all the power you need. He then says that for an unspecified amount more and the addition of a wind turbine, you can make money selling power back to the electric company and "get a check" instead of a bill. Everything he says is possile but not for less than $10,000 and I doubt even $30,000 in Michigan. I went to the DTE web site and found that you need a power generating agreement with DTE that is in their favor big time. Then the permits, inspections, and engineering analysis on top of that. Yes a formal engineering analysis in order to enter into the operating agreement with DTE. Hardly a do it yourself project for most.
Marty Rosalik August 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM
When the seed farm was still in operation it was quite a sight. Yes, I'm that old. Scott, I think foxglove may have been grown for Parke Davis too. Anyway a trip down Rochester road was quite colorfull some times of the year and that whole square mile was pretty flat.
Scot Beaton August 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Marty... no wonder I like you comments -- everything gets better with age. That entire square mile was developed as a (PUD) which is an acronym for Planned Unit Development. Which may lend a lot of truth to my previous comment. -- All the storm water runoff exits the Hampton Village Mall into Hampton -- could miscalculated strip mall engineering explain all the excess flooding? Marty it's always all about the money -- it is a lot less expensive to store stormwater runoff on land zoned residential than land zoned commercial.
Michael Taunt August 14, 2012 at 01:58 AM
"--That parking lot -- the entire strip mall -- Oakland County's largest -- LOL -- The land was once the Ferry-Morse Seed Co.* -- and the land was flat as a pancake." Not true. Existing site elevations on pre-developement topographic maps show a 25 foot drop from the Rochester Road ROW to Barclay Circle. The parking lot grades are very close to the sites natural slopes. "--Some brainy act civil engineer sloped the parking lot on purpose to keep snow and water runoff off the parking lot so the asphalt would last longer. Guess they forgot where all the water would go." Of course the engineer sloped the parking lot on purpose. ALL parking lots are sloped on purpose to drain rain and snowmelt. Are you suggesting that parking lots be be made flat so that storm water sits until it evaporates? or they turn into ice rinks in the winter? "-- anyway, a buddy of mine said he heard that the slope was created as a kind of natural "cart return" for Target." This is an urban myth; see above.
Scot Beaton August 14, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Michael Taunt 
Survey Technician at City of Rochester Hills I'll accept your response... I did attend every planning commission meeting -- you'll see my name many times in the minutes. Oakland County's longest... that's a typo. The parking lot was revolutionary for its time and the steep slopes are man-made to 'get the water off quickly which promotes longer asphalt life.' There is a 15 foot drop just driving into the mall. Michael if the numbers are still around look up how much soil was hauled off. Thousands and Thousands of dollars of valuable topsoil. I'll make a deal with you -- I will never use 'some brainy act civil engineer' if you don't belittle my intelligence with 'are you suggesting that parking lots be be made flat so that storm water sits until it evaporates? or they turn into ice rinks in the winter?' P.S. I gave it the nickname 'monster mall' many in Hampton still call the mall by that name -- plus my input was influential in convincing the developer to change the facade of the mall to have a more residential character -- it's all in the minutes. Michael thanks for your post and thanks for your great service.


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