Scrap metal thieves are adding to the delays in getting water cleared from flooded roads.
Officials say copper piping stolen from pumping stations used to clear water from the freeways might have been a contributing factor in this week’s major highway flooding.
Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross said the copper piping had been stolen from several pumping stations–but MDOT didn’t know about the thefts until going in to pump the water after Monday’s torrential storms.
Cross said it could be several days before all freeways are reopened.
Copper theft for sale as scrap is a longstanding area problem, with it being blamed for many streetlight outages.