Skip to Content


Flooding and vulnerable communities in the Great Lakes region

Communities throughout the Great Lakes region face similar crises, with archaic wastewater systems, crumbling infrastructure and segregated housing creating a perfect storm of flooding vulnerability.

For this series, six outlets highlight how cities and Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes region face severe flooding issues — from excessive rain to crumbling infrastructure.

Read stories from the collaboration below.


Great Lakes flooding crises generate national attention

Six INN members examined flooding-related issues in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Detroit — attracting more than 130,000 unique visitors from the participating newsrooms and national republication partners.

A Community-Led Approach To Stopping Flooding Expands
Borderless Magazine August 15, 2023

In a region where communities of color are most impacted by flooding, RainReady is bringing together community members to create flood mitigation plans.

Survival of wild rice threatened by climate change, increased rainfall in northern Minnesota
Sahan Journal August 14, 2023

Wild rice is an aquatic grass that thrives in shallow waters, and serves as a sacred “mashkiki,” or medicine, to the Ojibwe.

Climate costs imperils Detroit’s unique, diverse Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood
Planet Detroit August 11, 2023

Climate gentrification could mean resources to manage the risks and expense of living in a floodplain may replace those without them.

Milwaukee residents fear more flooding due to planned I-94 expansion  
Wisconsin Watch August 10, 2023

Two extra highway lanes will add 29 acres of asphalt next to Near West Side Milwaukee neighborhoods that already face flood risks.

On Chicago’s South Side, neighbors fight to keep Lake Michigan at bay
Grist August 8, 2023

Residents dogged by frequent flooding have finally drawn attention from city and state officials.

Inundation and injustice: Flooding presents a formidable threat to the great lakes region
Ensia August 8, 2023

Throughout the Great Lakes region, archaic wastewater systems, crumbling infrastructure and more create a perfect storm of flooding vulnerability.

This reporting is part of a collaborative series from the Institute for Nonprofit News, Ensia, Grist, Wisconsin Watch, Planet Detroit, Sahan Journal and Borderless Magazine. This project was made possible with support from the Joyce Foundation. 

Back to top