Jefferson Avenue floods at 12 Mile Road March 26 after heavy rains.

Jefferson Avenue floods at 12 Mile Road March 26 after heavy rains.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Jefferson Avenue briefly shutdown for spring flooding

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 2, 2021

 Barriers block the intersection of 12 Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue March 26 while crews from the Department of Public Works clean debris from a pipe draining to Lake St. Clair.

Barriers block the intersection of 12 Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue March 26 while crews from the Department of Public Works clean debris from a pipe draining to Lake St. Clair.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Two inches of rain falling at once still caused flooding in St. Clair Shores, but not to the extent seen in recent years.

The intersection of 12 Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue was closed for a few hours March 26 due to flooding. Department of Public Works Director Bryan Babcock explained that there is a large pipe that runs underneath 12 Mile Road into Lake St. Clair.

“With the lake being up the way it is, we keep having problems with sand being washed into the pipe,” he said. “We saw a storm coming, so on Thursday, we took our excavator out there and we actually cleared away the outlet to prepare for the storm.”

But with the heavy rain and an onshore wind, water still came over the roadway at 12 Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue.

“The new pump station we put in at the Blue Goose, that worked great,” he said. “We did not have any flooding up there, so it worked.”

In prior years since Lake St. Clair has hit record high water levels, Jefferson Avenue would flood at L’Anse Street, which is why the city installed a new pump station just south of that location.

At 12 Mile Road, Babcock said crews spent the morning digging out debris from the pipe outlet.

“We used the excavator bucket, and we were pushing the debris that’s plugging the outlet out into the lake,” he said.

The department has also used a jet hose to stir up debris further up in the pipe, creating pressure to help it flow back into the lake, as well. Babcock said the flood waters receded before 10 a.m. March 26.

“For the most part, everything else was under control,” he said. “So far, it’s looking to trend that it’s going to continue to get better. The lake’s going to be down not as high as it was last year.”

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