Southeast Michigan experienced record rainfall Monday, disrupting operations at Detroit 3 production and technical facilities.
Rainfall began about 11 a.m. Monday and continued heavily through the evening, amounting to as much as 4.57 inches, according to National Weather Service reports -- making it the second-heaviest rainfall in a day since records have been kept. The weather caused closures or slowdowns at Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Chrysler Group plants and tech centers.
Roads were in poor condition, with sections of major highways in the Detroit area closed due to flooding, causing long detours for commuters.
Several Detroit area highways remained closed this evening, continuing to wreak havoc on rush-hour commuters and commercial traffic.
GM’s Technical Center in suburban Detroit was closed earlier today because of road conditions and power issues, spokeswoman Katie McBride said. She added that the closure affects 19,000 employees and engineers stationed on that campus.
No other GM facilities were affected by the weather, the automaker said.
McBride said in a later statement that some employees returned to the Tech Center for the second shift today. She added that other buildings will return to operations based on the extent of repairs needed.
"Priority is being placed on operations that directly impact customers, such as call centers, OnStar and the IT data center and ensuring safe operations for all," she said in the later statement.
Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in an e-mail that four of the automaker’s plants -- Jefferson North Assembly, Sterling Heights Assembly, Sterling Stamping and Warren Stamping, all in suburban Detroit -- experienced delays from weather due to road closures, flooding in the facilities and slow deliveries.
Jefferson North, Sterling Stamping and Warren Stamping were running at a slow rate, Tinson said in the statement, and Sterling Heights Assembly released employees this morning after letting second-shift employees go home early Monday night at about 9.
Operations were expected to return to normal later today.
"Employees on the second shift at all plants are expected to report at their normal times," Tinson said in a statement this afternoon.
Rising water stranded a car carrier loaded with Chrysler 200 sedans on Mound Road near 1-696 in Warren, Mich., which was hit hard by heavy rainfall. The intersection is several miles from Chrysler's Sterling Heights assembly plant where the 200 is built. The lower deck of the carrier was nearly submerged.