Bridging Hope in Flooded Detroit Communities During Memorial Day Weekend

Midwest  |  May 30, 2019
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Director: Garson Ormiston Editor: Dejun Wong, Garson Ormiston  Tzu Chi USA 360

Near-record rainfall caused massive overnight flooding on May 25 in the Detroit area that has made roads impassable, flooded homes and destroyed communities.

Significant lakeshore flooding and erosion in the Great Lakes and nearby rivers set almost water level records as a total of up to 4.32 inches of rain poured down on impacted cities. High wind speeds blew through neighborhoods and major highways were fully submerged. A state of emergency was declared for eight communities near the Great Lakes region as a result.

The Tzu Chi relief team was immediately on site in Wayne County distributing $32,400 in cash cards to 81 out of 103 registered families. Many residents were unable to attend the distribution due to remaining unsurpassable road conditions.

Tzu Chi volunteers provided snacks and fruits for relief recipients. Photo: Dennis Lee
A total of 51 volunteers traveled from Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lansing, Detroit and Chicago to dedicate their time during the long memorial day weekend in support of the distribution. Photo: Dennis Lee
Tzu Chi volunteer Henglin Wang talks with relief recipient at the intake station. Photo: Dennis Lee

The storm’s flooding caused mass devastation and hardship for thousands of residents. Communities struggle to regain a sense of normalcy as they begin to repair flooded basements and power outages in homes that were on the storm’s path of damage. Major roadway damage persists and many interior roads remain impassable.

Recipient Laura Lillis. Photo by: Dennis Lee

As impacted residents continue to recover from the heavy rains, Tzu Chi is committed to its sustainable long-term recovery methodology and will assist communities until they are fully back on their feet once again.

Tzu Chi Volunteer Yahei Hsieh talks to first group of recipients about Tzu Chi’s mission. Photo by: Garson Ormiston

Help us bridge hope during life’s disasters by extending your hands and heart to those in need.

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