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Michigan sees surge of extreme storms

Dec 4, 2014

Michigan has seen an 89% increase in big storms over the last 50 years.
Credit Michigan State Police

Big, often destructive storms are becoming much more frequent in Michigan.

Over the last 50 years, we've seen an 89% increase in storms that dump two or more inches of precipitation in a single day.

Theo Spencer is with the the Natural Resources Defense Council, which released these findings in a new report called “Extreme Storms in Michigan.”

He says those storms are especially dangerous when they flood the state’s antiquated storm water and sewer systems:

“Because they dump untreated human sewage and industrial waste into our water, that in many cases we rely on for drinking," says Spencer.

Both Detroit and Grand Rapids have been hit hard by flooding in the last couple of years.

Spencer says climate change predictions point to even more big storms in Michigan, so cities and the state need to keep building rain gardens, porous parking lots and other "green" storm water systems.