This story was produced through a collaboration between Climate Central, BridgeDetroit, and Grist.
Wilma Price was sleeping in her basement bedroom in 2021 when she woke up to a cacophony of noise, including an alarm coming from her sump pump, a device meant to prevent basement flooding.
As she sat up in bed she saw her freezer and its contents floating by on several inches of water. The bedroom of her home in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood was quickly flooding with water coming in from the toilet and shower.
“I thought I was dreaming,” said Price, 69. “It was gushing out of my toilet like a geyser, it was coming out of my shower. … I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so terrifying.”
The alarm she heard was the crying sound of her sump pump failing as approximately four feet of water accumulated, almost entirely engulfing the stairs from her basement and destroying computers, furniture, applian... Read more