Detroit Floods as the Pacific Northwest Bakes: It's Time to Shift the Conversation About Climate Change

The record-breaking heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has mostly been depicted in the media by kids running through fountains, but images of flooded highways and stranded vehicles in Detroit tell a more accurate story of climate change.

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June 30, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Flood waters overwhelm a park, full of empty benches, on a sunny day.

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Detroit is flooding as the city deals with heavy rainfall that dropped as much precipitation on the city in five hours as usually falls in two hours.

Jer Staes reports: "I-94, as of this recording, is still flooded. The Fisher Building sits dark without power due to a substation being out. Thousands of basements were filled with water, and countless personal items lost across Detroit, Dearborn, the Grosse Pointes, and elsewhere."

The extreme weather and its consequences are happening the same day as record demolishing heats grip the Pacific Northwest. Climate change, and the country's collective lack of preparation for extreme weather, are in the spotlight.

"There’s a lot to this story, and with such a catastrophic failure, there’s no one answer. But a big part of this is climate change. Our infrastructure, in some cases built as much as a century ago, wasn’t designed for this new climate we find ourselves in today," reports Staes.

The article is a previews a podcast that includes a shout out to Sheril Kirshenbaum, Michigan State University researcher and author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, who advocates for connecting the dots between the many systems affected by the flooding—food, health, safety, and the economy.

Monday, June 28, 2021 in Daily Detroit

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