MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – Eight counties in the Upper Peninsula are under a state of emergency declaration after a rapid spring warm-up caused the snowpack to melt and eventual flooding and other related issues. Following a historic snowstorm earlier this week, warmer weather and the potential for more rain, officials are preparing for the possibility that water levels could rise rapidly again.
We spoke with Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch about the latest concerns.
“Things were moving forward pretty well. We were getting all the damage report assessments completed. We were tallying all of that up and working with various municipalities, emergency management with the state of Michigan and other agencies as well. Clearly our most recent spring storm threw us a curve with the heavy wet snow which was laden with water. That has added more concern where we might be headed with additional flooding,” said Erbisch.
The National Weather Service (NWS) confirms areas of possible flooding concern are:
- Michigamme River in Western Marquette County
- Dead River in Marquette County
- Middle Branch of the Escanaba River in Humbolt
- East Branch of the Escanaba River in Gwinn
The NWS also confirms there is ongoing flooding over Feather Ridge Road near the Crossroads from outflow from Lake Pelissier.
Erbisch said in the area that the Marquette County Road Commission monitors, there is already an estimated $4.7 million dollars in infrastructure damage.
Flooding and road damage are just part of the equation. Officials are also still collecting reports of home and property damage.
“We are operating, we’ve been advised that we’re operating under the initial emergency declaration under the governor. It would still be important to document with photographs and dates and times as well as you identify the damage,” said Erbisch.
Any additional damage from flooding would still need to be reported under the same state of emergency declaration.
You can also dial 2-1-1 to speak to someone and file your report that way.
If you do experience several feet of flooding in your basement, in the video above, Erbisch stressed the importance of not draining the water all at one time.