County flood damage total rises to $500K

March 1, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Flooding early last week prompted Clare County Emergency Services Director Jerry Becker to seek a state of emergency declaration for Clare County.

Although a state of Emergency was not declared for the county, Becker said Wednesday, “Damage Assessment was completed as of yesterday afternoon and all totals were uploaded to the State system.

Clare County had a total of forty-five impacted properties for a total of; $500,000.00 in damages.”

He continued, “Most damage was uninsured losses due to the fact that the flooding occurred in non-traditional flooding areas due to the nature of this event — ponding of water and runoff caused by heavy rains on top of frozen ground and snow pack melt.”

Becker added, “We saw a lot of ground flooding that affected homes built on concrete slabs and many basements flooded, some with windows that were blown in due to water pressure from water around the structure.”

He said cleanup supplies are available through the American Red Cross. “To get a kit, flood victims should contact 211 and we will get the information to Red Cross for distribution.”

A press release from Becker Wednesday said, “The American Red Cross in cooperation with Clare County Emergency Management will be in Clare County Beginning March 1st. They will be distributing Flood Clean-up supplies and providing disaster related information. “If you have received damage from this event and not reported it yet Please Call 211. If you have a well that was flooded please contact Public Health Department at 989-539-6731 to obtain a Well Water Test Kit.”

Heavy rain and snowmelt, compounded by the still frozen ground caused rivers and streams to rise and caused massive flooding problems for many central Michigan counties including Clare, Isabella and Gladwin County residents and businesses February 20th.

Although no evacuations were issued, Central Dispatch announced the opening of a shelter at the Hayes Municipal Complex, 2055 E. Townline Lake Road in Harrison for residents who had to leave their homes due to the flooding. Those needing help were told to call 211 for more information.

Becker urged county residents to watch for continuing developments on Facebook.

Deteriorating conditions on some back roads due to the weather caused all of the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Schools to close on Wednesday, February 21st: Clare, Farwell, Harrison, Beaverton and Gladwin schools, and reportedly icy back roads caused “a few” Harrison school busses and three Farwell busses to slide into ditches on their morning runs. No one was injured during the incidents.

The flood warnings remained in effect for Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Osceola Oceana, Mecosta and Montcalm counties until 1 p.m. on Thursday. The flood warning for Gladwin Ogemaw and Iosco counties was in effect until 6:15 Wednesday.

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