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'Cold feet': Monroe ice jams trigger flooding of basements, vehicles

Man uses tow truck to help neighbors at no cost
Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 19:48:10-04

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Avenue near Elm Avenue appears to be one of the hardest hit areas of Monroe after this week's snow storm. The River Raisin is backed up from ice jams and has caused flash flooding in that area.

As a result of the ice jams and subsequent flooding, there are some impassible streets, submerged vehicles and flooded basements.

“I actually got woken up this morning to... my momma was saying that my car was underwater," Katelyn Puruleski told 7 Action News.

She got out in the water to help a tow truck driver help her. Now Puruleski is concerned about the extent of the damage the flash flooding has caused.

"I’m just like cold and anxious and like upset because no one wants this to happen to them," she explained.

Joe Roe, who has two homes on Michigan Avenue, also owns the tow truck he's using to help neighbors at no cost.

“We took her car to the shop for her. Hopefully it’s not that bad," Roe said of Puruleski's vehicle.

He said the only challenge with towing on the flooded roads has been "cold feet."

“I’ve already changed my boots and socks twice today, but that’s what I'm here to do, though, help the neighborhood," Roe said.

He said one of his basements flooded, and so he has his sump pump going.

Another neighbor 7 Action News visited said she's had her sump pump going since last night. Her basement is also flooded. The woman's stepfather is upset his daughter's homeowner's insurance is denying her claim.

“Her basement is about, well, it’s over my boots. So it’s about 3-foot deep. Everything is soaked. It’s halfway up the washer. It’s halfway up the dryer. The furnace is junk. The hot water (heater) is junk. Everything’s junk,” Todd Falkenberg described.

Monroe police commander John Wall told 7 Action News, “It’s not uncommon that we can see some flooding. It just depends on the severity and how long this goes for.”

He said it’s estimated the river peaked at 9-and-a-half feet around noon.

Jennie Small and her daughter Vic live uphill from the flooding on Michigan Avenue and spent time checking on their neighbors.

"I'm just more concerned about their health and safety and when it melts, where's it all going to go?" she said.

Residents hope the water recedes quickly and in the right direction as they try and figure out the step next to pick up the pieces.