Monday, July 02, 2018

Houghton County begins third week Of recovery after Father’s Day flooding

HOUGHTON -- Weekend downpours caused only minor delays in repair work being done on roads and culverts in and around Houghton County over the weekend. Local officials say it was a good test of the work done so far but cautioned there is still much to be done.

"Our main objective is to establish the safe passage of water, whether in original or rerouted beds," said Department of Environmental Quality Incident Management Specialist Scott Schaefer. "Right now, one of our main concerns is culverts associated with the mining area railroad grades that have become clogged with debris."

Some of that debris pileup has been caused by illegal dumping of household items, with everything from coolers to mattresses being found in culverts and drainage ditches. Officials remind residents that all debris needs to be discarded by regular means of collection, or by taking them to one of the two county transfer locations. Normal fees will apply, but people are encouraged to obtain and keep receipts as funds may be available for possible reimbursement at a later date.

Residents who notice any drain blockage, ditch or culvert problems should call their local Township Supervisor for routing through the appropriate channels.

Reminder: A Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is planned for Friday, July 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on MacDonald Street behind the Lake Linden Park. This event is for the exclusive use of residential flood victims only.

The Superior Watershed Partnership has agreed to take over management of both the Volunteer Registration Center and the Donation Distribution Center, which are now located at The Copper Country Mall. Hours of operation for the remainder of this week, July 3-8, are as follows:
Tuesday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday and Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Center is requesting that individuals please bring a picture I.D. to show Houghton County residency.

The call continues to go out for volunteers to help with cleanup as recovery efforts transition from "slinging mud and filling buckets" to interior demolition work. The Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) is located at the former JCPenney location in the Copper Country Mall (rear entrance). Those who can offer their time to volunteer, or people who still need help, can visit that location, visit  or call (906) 233-6621. Volunteer Coordinator Jon Stone stresses that there are jobs for everyone, no matter age or physical condition. Some volunteers are helping by driving supplies to needed areas.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department reports that many beaches, lakes and rivers remain closed or under a health advisory following the weekend rains. See update in our right-hand column or visit the Health Dept. Web site.

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