"I'm watching the hail come down, really big hail," Ellen remembers. "And then it started to rain, really hard rain." Meteorologists say the same March 15 storm that created the Dexter tornado also dropped two inches of rain on Ann Arbor in three hours. That "twenty-five-year storm" quickly overwhelmed the neighborhood's storm sewers and sent rainwater into its streets, yards, and basements.
"It crested the egress window," Fisher says, her voice rising, "then it filled the egress space, and then it comes pouring in! The alarm went off on my sump pump--we have two that alternate--and we had water coming up through the sump pumps! I called Perimeter [the city contractor that installed the pump] as the water crested around the other egress window, and soon I had five to seven inches in my basement!"
Around the corner at 2240 Mershon, Dave and Katie Foster got seven feet. "We've lived there thirteen years and never had water in the basement before," Dave Foster says. "It went into the egress's window well, filled that, burst the window, and then filled up our basement."
"At some point," continues Fisher, "the drain in the basement started to work. But I had water in my house for hours." On Churchill, she adds, the water was so deep that "one neighbor's car floated by."