River Raisin Flood Warning January 2024

River Raisin Flood Warning
Posted on 02/01/2024
River Raisin Flood Warning 

UPDATE: 02.01.2024
The Flood Warning from the National Weather Service in Detroit/Pontiac office has expired.

UPDATE 01.28.2024: 10:16 AM
The National Weather Service in Detroit/Pontiac MI has issued an additional Flood Warning for the River Raisin due to continued snow melt upstream and previous rain events.

At 7:50 AM EST Sunday, January 28, the depth was at 8.4 feet.  The river is expected to rise above flood stage tomorrow morning to a crest of 9.2 feet early Tuesday morning. It will then fall below flood stage early Wednesday morning. 

Flood stage is 9.0 feet. At 9.0 feet, Flooding begins at the Monroe YMCA.

Minor flooding is anticipated.  The warning remains in effect until further notice.

We would again remind our residents that if they need immediate assistance to contact 911, or for non-emergency, please call 734.243.7070. Also, when driving, please avoid water covered roads and do not cross Road Closure signs.

UPDATE 01.27.2024: 11:00 AM
The ice jam has broken and moved past the Winchester and railroad bridges and out to Hellenberg Field, which caused the river elevation to drop to 8.26 feet, roughly 1.5 feet below its peak yesterday and below the 9.0 foot flood stage.

At this point, with lots of room for water to spread out at Hellenberg and beyond, it is unlikely that there will be any further major flooding related to this event.

City crews will continue to clean up areas where debris is still in roadways.

01.26.2024:  11:00 AM
Flood Warning in effect from early this morning until further notice. 
* WHAT...Minor flooding is occurring.
* WHERE...River Raisin At Monroe City.
* WHEN...From early this morning until further notice.
* IMPACTS...At 9.0 feet, flooding begins at the Monroe YMCA. At 9.5 feet, several homes flood on the western edge of Monroe.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS... At 10:30 AM EST Friday the stage was 9.01 feet at the gauge behind the Monroe Water Filtration Plant. Earlier ice jams at the Monroe Street bridge that were causing water to back up this morning through the storm sewer systems in the neighborhoods north of Elm Avenue between Godfroy and Monroe Street have broken, and water has now receded in these areas for the time being.  Flood stage is 9.0 feet.

At the present time there are no street closures due to flooding, but residents should continue to be aware of this possibility in the coming days due to possible river rise behind the ice jam.

Areas typically affected when ice becomes jammed at the present location can include:

1. East Elm Avenue from Maple to Mason Run Boulevard
2. East Front Street from Wadsworth to Kentucky
3. Any cross streets in the above areas for up to a block away from the river

🧊 I C E :  Ice is jammed west of the Winchester Street bridge, due to having 3 bridges in close proximity with support piers that do not line up with each other and often prevent easier movement of ice. Based on recent observations, it is unlikely this pack will be moving within the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance please contact 911 or for non-emergency, please call 734.243.7070.


Why can’t we use dynamite to break the ice?

This has proven to not be best practice in the River Raisin. Ice jams occur near critical city infrastructure. The amount of dynamite needed to make a practical difference would pose significant risk to city bridges, sanitary sewers and residents. Simply put, a little does nothing and a lot jeopardizes infrastructure, property and people.

Why not a wrecking ball?

Although this method has been tried in the past, it has not proved to be effective in creating channels necessary to create water flow - instead it only puts holes through the ice.

What about an ice cutter?

The City is able to request the services of the Coast Guard’s ice cutter - a boat designed to break ice on the Great Lakes.  However, the current ice jams are located too far upstream for the ice cutters to reach.

Due to the river depth the boat can only go upstream to the turning basin at the Port of Monroe. Additionally, it generally takes several days for the ice cutter to arrive in Monroe from their origin location.

What will happen when the ice breaks at Winchester Street Bridge?

The flooding, if any, will subside. When it breaks, it will generally be pushed out to Lake Erie, but on its way, it often comes to rest on the shoreline and along the banks of Hellenberg Field.

My basement is flooded – what should I do?

Please contact the Waste department after hours Emergency number at 734.241.5926. You can also refer to our Water Department Trouble Calls page.  There are steps that homeowners can take to mitigate flooding.  Please refer to the links featured at the bottom of this page for more information.

My neighborhood doesn’t normally flood – why now?

An intermediate jam at the Monroe Street Bridge caused a dam for a period of time that forced back water from the river through the storm sewer through neighborhoods that are not normally impacted by flooding.

Please refer to the page linked below for information on the recent Wet Weather Warning, as well as useful information regarding the recent Flood Warning.