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Dead 100-year-old woman found in flooded basement

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    A stranded motorist sits on top his car as he awaits rescue from the flooded Southfield Freeway, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich. The Michigan State Police issued an advisory Monday evening, urging drivers to avoid non-essential use of all metro Detroit freeways after heavy rain and thunderstorms left roads flooded and impassable. Interstate 75 at I-94 in Detroit has been shut down in both directions, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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    Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. Police divers are searching for anyone trapped in their vehicles. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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    Joe Perry cleans drain at Jean and Martin streets in Warren, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder addresses reporters at the Lansing, Mich., airport, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, before flying out to survey the severe flooding in the Detroit area. Snyder told reporters that he'll have a better idea of the scope of the damage after the flyover. Snyder cut short a trip to the Upper Peninsula to survey the damage, after more than 5 inches of rain fell within a few hours across parts of southeastern Michigan, leaving streets and freeways impassable. (AP Photo/Grand Rapids Press, Fritz Klug)

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    A police diver checks a flooded vehicle for any occupants along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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    Kevin Cockrell removes basement carpet destroyed by flooding at his home in Warren, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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  • Flooding-Michigan-8

    A police diver checks for stranded motorists along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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  • Flooding-Michigan-9

    Stranded motorists look over flooded vehicles, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich. The Michigan State Police issued an advisory Monday evening, urging drivers to avoid non-essential use of all metro Detroit freeways after heavy rain and thunderstorms left roads flooded and impassable. Interstate 75 at I-94 in Detroit has been shut down in both directions, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Flooding-Michigan-10

    Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. Police divers are searching for anyone trapped in their vehicles. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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  • Flooding-Michigan-11

    Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. Police divers are searching for anyone trapped in their vehicles. Warren Mayor James Fouts said roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed after 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

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WARREN, Mich. — The body of a 100-year-old suburban Detroit woman was found in her flooded condominium basement today, a day after heavy rain swamped much of the area and stranded motorists on water-clogged streets and freeways.

The woman’s daughter was concerned about her welfare and went to the home to check on her, said Warren Mayor James Fouts.

Fouts said the woman appears to have drowned. A cause of death was not immediately available, and Fouts did not release the woman’s name.

Her death was the second blamed on storms that dumped 5.2 inches of rain on Warren Monday. A 30-year-old woman suffered seizures and died after her vehicle became trapped in high water.

Roughly 1,000 vehicles had been abandoned in floodwaters in the suburb where many roads were closed.

“This is going to go down as the great flood of 2014,” Fouts said.

Fearing more motorists could become stranded after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas this morning.

Tiffany Gatewood said Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly plant near Warren sent her and other workers home early Monday night. On her way home, Gatewood’s Jeep stalled on a flooded entrance ramp to Interstate 696 and she had to swim to safety.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the 27-year-old said. “It’s like the world is coming to an end.”

Warren Fire Chief David Frederick said bystanders pulled a Sterling Heights woman from her car after seeing her suffer seizures. They carried her into a nearby business and called firefighters who waded through chest-deep water to get her to an emergency vehicle. She was pronounced dead at a hospital, Frederick said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Thompson said the rainfall peaked in suburban Detroit at 6.25 inches. He said 4.57 inches fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, breaking the previous record for Aug. 11 at the airport of 2.06 inches in 1964.

“This was simply a record event of rain,” Gov. Rick Snyder said.

“We just need to work through it,” Snyder told reporters at Lansing’s airport before boarding a state police helicopter to tour the affected areas.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected today, with about a quarter-inch more of rain forecast.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano declared a state of emergency and said he asked Snyder to push for federal resources. A state of emergency declaration by Michigan allows a variety of resources to potentially be made available including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ficano said in a release.

Fouts also declared a state of emergency for Warren.

“I spoke with Snyder and told him we were in need of help clearing roads of abandoned vehicles and basement flooding,” Fouts said. “Now it’s time for the state and federal government to give back what we’ve been giving. Right now, there are thousands of people in Warren who need help.”

In the suburb of Royal Oak, the Detroit Zoo was closed after heavy rains and flooding damaged facilities and equipment, including the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit that houses polar bears, seals and arctic foxes.

“All animals are secure and there are no concerns with animal welfare at this time,” the zoo said in a statement.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said crews were crisscrossing the city to identify flooded streets that needed clearing after the rain overwhelmed the sewer systems.

Authorities closed portions of Interstates 75, 94, 696 and the Lodge and Southfield freeways Tuesday. Other roadways remained under water, while mud, debris and vehicles blocked traffic elsewhere. Motorists were stranded on flooded roads in the Flint area.

Michigan State Police troopers assisted other stranded motorists and towed abandoned vehicles. The state Department of Transportation assessed damage to roadways and used front-end loaders to clear mud from some freeways.

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