Updates for the Houghton County disaster recovery

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HOUGHTON– Following are the latest updates regarding the flood recovery efforts in Houghton County.

With The Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources reporting their estimated cost to repair the damages sustained in Houghton County, the total cost for all damage to public infrastructure now sits at approximately 100 Million dollars. This does not include damaged incurred by homeowners and local business.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (EMHSD) personnel met with representatives from the Road Commission, MDOT and local cities and townships this morning to review the damage assessments that were submitted last week. Over the next two days, those groups will tour a sampling of the damage throughout the County where FEMA will work to validate the cost of the damage as submitted by the local agencies.

Individuals whose homes were made uninhabitable by the flood, and are in need to medium to long term temporary housing should contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at (906) 482 0500.

The City of Houghton announced that Clark and Vivian Streets are now open and they hope to have Agate Street passable by tomorrow (Wednesday).

MDOT reports that they are doing assessment and scoping work in Ripley, inspecting drainages and continuing to work on paving sections of M-26 from Ripley to Laurium.

The National Guard will be begin work on Beacon Hill near Freda today.

The Red Cross will be closing their distribution center at the Calumet Coliseum and the items there will be brought to Dee Stadium. The Dee is also looking to close by the end of this week and a new site is being sought.

The Health Department recommends that fish caught in any Houghton County inland waters or within the stained waters of Lake Superior, not be eaten. They also report that they have distributed 153 well water test kits to date and that they have received results back on the first ten samples that were sent for analysis. Of those ten, five reported as being contaminated with one testing positive for e-coli. The Health Department is working with the effected homeowners.

The Michigan Department of Environment Quality is working to establish a household hazardous waste collection site by next week. Residents are encouraged to separate things like paint, automotive fluids, cleaning fluids, etc. from other flood debris and set them aside until the collection site is set up.

The DEQ is also working on a plan to address the streams and drainages where their original beds have been filled by the flood debris.

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