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Storm Recovery Information

If you have something to add to this page, please email the information to HoughtonRadio@up.net. Thank you.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for road and trail updates.

Cash Donations
Funds have been established to facilitate financial donations. These organizations are well known, and will make sure your donation goes to help the victims and the overall relief effort. In addition, your donation will be reported to local emergency officials, who can add it to the data being assembled to help build our case for governmental emergency assistance through FEMA. If you donate to another organization, please make sure it is legitimate, and the funds will end up where you intend. Click on the links to learn more.
Portage Health Foundation
Keweenaw Community Foundation

Volunteer Assistance
The Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) coordinates all storm response volunteer activities, matching volunteers with needs. Many volunteers are needed for all sorts of jobs, from manual labor to food preparation to clerical. Basic, no-charge background checks are performed on volunteers, and safety equipment can be provided for potential health risks, such as cleaning out basements that may include sewage residue. Please contact the VRC if you wish to volunteer, or if you need volunteer help for a storm-related issue. Working through the VRC helps us track volunteer hours invested, which reinforces our request for federal disaster assistance money. If you have used volunteers outside the VRC, please call the VRC, and describe the work that was done, and the number of volunteer hours invested. The VRC is based at Evangel Baptist Church, on College Avenue in Houghton.  Call them at 233-6621. You can also check the official volunteer Facebook site – click here.

Merchandise Donations
The physical donations needed at this time are shovels, buckets, rubber boots, rubberized work gloves, and other tools that can be used in recovery efforts. The primary food need is individually packaged, single-serving snacks and desserts, which will be part of the sack lunches provided to volunteers who are arriving from outside the area to assist. Lunch bags are also needed. Clothing, furniture and household goods are not needed. All contributions should be delivered to Dee Stadium between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, or to the Calumet Colosseum between 8:00 am and 6:30 pm, whether being submitted by an individual, or a group that is running a collection. Before doing so, please call the Houghton City Center at 482-1700 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, or the Colosseum at 236-5962 to arrange your drop-off. All contributions must be recorded by emergency authorities, as part of our effort to obtain FEMA assistance.

If you notice a new problem area, such as a road washout, or electric or gas utility problem, call 2-1-1 to report it.

Storm Damage
If your home or business suffered damage from the storm, it is essential that it be thoroughly documented. Take pictures of the damage, write detailed notes about the damage and the repair process, track volunteer hours invested, and keep receipts for materials and paid labor. This may help you get some disaster relief compensation.

If you are concerned about the structural integrity of your home or other building, call the Houghton County Building Inspector at 482-2260 or email Building@HoughtonCounty.net.

Health/Safety
Beaches remain closed, and any contact with the water is discouraged until the water clears, and passes safety tests. Testing has confirmed high levels of E.coli and fecal coliform bacteria in Portage Lake, the Portage waterway, and some shoreline waters of Lake Superior at the Upper Entrance, L’Anse and Ontonagon, caused by storm water runoff. The closure includes swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing and all water activities until further notice. This includes all western Upper Peninsula beaches.

The Western U.P. Health Department on Wednesday released guidelines for homeowners that address water quality in private wells, flooded septic systems, flooded basements, and steps that can be taken to reduce the mosquito population. Read those guidelines here. The Health Department is offering free testing for wells in Houghton County. Visit their website for more information, or call Environmental Health Director Tanya Rule at 482-7382.

Many ORV trails remain closed, because of flood damage and erosion. The DNR is in the process of inspecting the trails, and will re-open them when they are safe.

If you are experiencing mental or emotional stress because of the flood’s effect on you and your family, phone Dial Help at 482-HELP (482-4357) or 800-562-7622. You may also text: 35NEEDS (906-356-3337). NOTE – DIAL HELP HAS BEEN HAVING PHONE ISSUES. IF YOUR CALL DOES NOT GO THROUGH, VISIT THEIR OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN HOUGHTON.

An update was released by Houghton County Thursday at noon – click here to view.

Announcements and Offers
The following information is effective for Thursday, June 21st:
– Schoolcraft / Torch Lake Sanitation will have no garbage pick up this week.
– The Michigan Tech Administration Building remains closed. The rest of the university is open.
– The Red Cross aid center at the Calumet Colosseum remains open daily from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm. They have supplies and volunteers to assist with recovery issues. You can reach them at 236-5962.
– The St. Vincent de Paul store in Hancock will assist with clothing or household items for flood victims.
– The Salvation Army in Hancock will distribute drinking flood clean-up kits, water, personal hygiene kits, and some pet supplies to flood victims.  Stop by their facility in downtown Hancock between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm.
– The Hubbell Fire Department will pump water from flooded basements of Hubbell residents. If you need your basement pumped, call the fire chief at 231-2709, or the township supervisor at 370-5097.
– The Church of Christ Disaster Relief Program is providing family boxes of food, infant and personal care items, and cleaning supplies. They will be available at the Lake Linden-Hubbell Public School Bus Garage on Friday from 2:00 to 6:30, and next Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 6:30. Please bring a photo I.D. to help expedite the process.

– Toucan’s Auto Repair in South Range is offering free inspections of any vehicles that have been flooded. DO NOT start the engine or drive a flooded vehicle until it is checked. Call Toucan’s at 487-6664 for details and instructions.
– Gardenview in Calumet will provide transportation, meals, and laundry services to those affected by thestorm. If you need those resources, call Maggie, at 337-0800.
– The Angel Mission Free Store is open, and providing free assistance to flood victims. They are also accepting donations of water, cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, disinfectant cleaners, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, and wipes. They do not need clothing. Here is a link to their Facebook page.
– Houghton and Baraga DHHS will be open during business hours to accept donations for families affected by the flood until July 6th, at which time the remainder of the donations will be sent to any local groups still assisting the families. Items to be donated include, clothes, shoes, non-perishable food, bottled drinks (water, Gatorade), cleaning supplies, hygiene products, work gloves, city garbage bags, rags, blankets, shovels, etc. We will be bringing items to local distribution centers. Any items needed for cleanup (shovels, gloves, garbage bags) will be dropped off at identified areas of need.

– Synergy Massage is offering a free 15-20 minute neck, shoulder, back and arm massage for anyone working on the clean up effort. Come as you are –  don’t hesitate to come if you are muddy and dirty. Massages will be available weekdays between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm, and Saturdays from 4:00 until 6:00 pm for the next two weeks.
– If you have been affected by recent flash flooding in Houghton County, and have overdue, damaged or lost library material as a result, the Portage Lake District Library will waive the fines. Stop by the library, call 482-4570, or email info@pldl.org.

– The Baraga School Athletic Department is recruiting volunteers from Baraga County for a work trip on Saturday. They will meet at Baraga High School at 8:00 am, and head to the Volunteer Center to check in. Please have waterproof muck-type work boots, work gloves. If you have shovels, rakes, protective breathing masks, five-gallon pails, wheel barrows, please bring them, as well. Everyone must fill out a volunteer form. Minors must have a release signed by a parent or legal guardian. You can print off the form here, or fill one out Saturday at the school.

There are several ways to assist the Markham family, who lost their 12-year-old son Thatcher to injuries suffered when their home was damaged Sunday night.
– A fund for donations has been set up at Range Bank. To donate, visit any Range Bank location, or mail donations to the Houghton Office at 19320 Jacker Ave, Houghton, MI 49931. Checks should be made payable to “Markham’s Benefit.”
– A GoFundMe site has been established. Click here to visit it.
– A spaghetti dinner benefit will be held Friday, June 29th, from 5:00 until 8:00 at the Baraga School.

– Small businesses in Houghton County are encouraged to report their storm-related losses and expenses to the Michigan Small Business Development Center of Upper Peninsula. This can include physical damage, loss of current sales, and even loss of potential future sales. Information will be used to help estimate the storm’s cost to the local economy, and could be valuable in helping to garner financial assistance. Jeff Ratcliffe with KEDA is heading up the local effort. For more details, click here.

If you have suffered losses, and need assistance, State Representative Scott Dianda has provided a list of state resources that may be helpful in dealing with insurance claims and damages:
DIFS Consumer Counselor: Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know
NAIC Home Inventory List
DIFS Guide to Resolving Insurance Problems/Complaint Form
How to be “Claim Smart”
DIFS Consumer Counselor: Homeownership vs. Repair Cost Policies
Auto Repair Rights Under a Michigan Automobile Policy
Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet
Additional Disaster Preparedness Resources
Dianda suggests contacting the Office of Consumer Services toll free at 877-999-6442 with any questions you may have.

Trail Updates:
– Per the Keweenaw ATV Club, Thursday morning: Freda Trail is closed because of complete washouts. The Hancock to Calumet Trail from Houghton to Lake Annie Road is closed because of complete washouts. The trail is open northeast from Lake Annie to Calumet. The most significant damage is along the Lake Linden Trail, which has been closed from Hancock to Lake Linden to Calumet. All Keweenaw County ATV trails are open. For more information, visit the Keweenaw ATV Club Facebook Page.

Copper Harbor bike trails are open, and were unaffected by the storm.

Road updates:
– US-41 is open between Chassell and Houghton. Traffic is still reduced to one lane at the Denton Road intersection near the Maranatha Church, and at the Pilgrim River.
– M-26 is now open between all the way from the Lift Bridge to Lake Linden. Some areas may be gravel-filled and bumpy.
– M-203 remains closed at the Swedetown Creek bridge, which has washed out. Local traffic is being permitted to use the highway in other areas.

We received an updated list of roads with problems from Rob Tarvis at the Houghton County Road Commission Thursday afternoon at 3:00. Roads with an asterisk are impassable; others are damaged, but can be navigated with care by local users only. Some roads have been patched with temporary repairs, and should be navigated carefully. You can see his updated list here.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department provided a map of road closings. Since the number is growing as additional problems are reported, it may no longer be complete, but it could help you pinpoint problem areas. See it here.