Detroit Deluge: Woman, 100, Found Dead in Flooded Cellar

Woman's 72-year-old daughter found her body after record rainfall in Detroit area

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2014 10:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Record rainfall in the Detroit area has stranded at least 1,000 cars, caused local automakers to delay production, and is now linked to a second death. A 72-year-old woman found her elderly mother's body floating in the flooded basement of the older woman's Warren condo when she went to check on her, reports the AP. Police say it looks like Julia Sarno, 100, drowned after she either suffered a heart attack or perhaps fell while monitoring water levels in her basement, notes CBS Detroit. Another woman died—apparently of cardiac arrest—after she was pulled earlier this week from her water-stranded car in suburban Detroit.

Monday's 4.57-inch downpour, which resulted in what Warren's mayor tells the AP "is going to go down as the great flood of 2014," was Detroit's second-largest rainfall ever recorded in a single day—the record that stands at 4.74 inches was set in 1925, according to the National Weather Service's Detroit office. As Sarno's neighbors mourn the woman described as "much younger than her years," one neighbor tells CBS Detroit that he's irate at the lack of the city's preparedness. "They should have had the sewer system better prepared, the city should have been better prepared for the storm—but they were not prepared at all," he says.

A Michigan State Police officer pilots a boat at the flooded Interstate 75 and I-696 interchange in Hazel Park, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, after heavy rains Monday flooded many roadways in the Detroit area.
A Michigan State Police officer pilots a boat at the flooded Interstate 75 and I-696 interchange in Hazel Park, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, after heavy rains Monday flooded many roadways in the Detroit area.   (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Ryan Garza)
A man retrieves items on Aug. 12, 2014, from his wife's car that was submerged on southbound Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., after heavy rains Monday flooded many roadways throughout metropolitan Detroit.
A man retrieves items on Aug. 12, 2014, from his wife's car that was submerged on southbound Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., after heavy rains Monday flooded many roadways throughout metropolitan...   (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Ryan Garza)
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014.
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Kevin Cockrell removes basement carpet destroyed by flooding at his home in Warren, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit.
Kevin Cockrell removes basement carpet destroyed by flooding at his home in Warren, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit.   (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)
Joe Perry cleans drain at Jean and Martin streets in Warren, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit.
Joe Perry cleans drain at Jean and Martin streets in Warren, Mich., on Aug. 12, 2014, in the wake of the previous night's intense rains in and around Detroit.   (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)
A stranded motorist sits on top his car as he awaits rescue from the flooded Southfield Freeway, on Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich.
A stranded motorist sits on top his car as he awaits rescue from the flooded Southfield Freeway, on Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014.
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)
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