(Houghton, MI) – Following are the latest updates regarding the flood recovery efforts in Houghton County as of Thursday afternoon.
The FEMA and State assessment teams are wrapping up their work in Houghton County today and will be moving on to review flood damage sustained in Gogebic and Menominee Counties.
The Volunteer Reception Center, currently located at the Evangel Church on College Avenue will be moving to the former JC Penney location at the Copper Country Mall on Friday. Both the Red Cross and Dee Stadium distribution centers will also have moved all donated goods to the JC Penney Location by the end of day Thursday. Volunteers are needed to staff the center this weekend.
The focus of volunteer work in the community will shift to gutting homes that received flood damage. Plans are being developed to identify the work that needs to be completed in those homes. Please call (906) 233-6621 if you are able to volunteer your time.
The Western UP Health Department has given out 250 well test kits. Of the test results that have come back, approximately half have been shown to be contaminated. Those homeowners will be contacted by the Health Department which has arranged for a volunteer to treat those wells. Beach closures and advisories continue, please visit the Health Department’s website at www.wupdhd.org for a specific list before you go in or near the water.
The Houghton County Road Commission has reduced the number of closed roads to 17. They hope to open Boundary soon and will be working to install culverts on Upper Point Mills. A list of the damaged and closed roads can be viewed by following the link on our Storm Recovery Page.
The DEQ has identified 6 streams that are in need of being restored to their original beds and work has begun on those. They are coordinating with local officials to identify other streams/drainages in need of such work. If you are aware of a stream or drainage bed that is in need of being restored, please contact your township official so that they may pass that information along to the DEQ.
The DEQ also had teams in the area inspecting local dams and did not identify any that were in immediate danger. The DEQ is also working on a plan to deal with the growing piles of flood debris that are popping up around the area.
The City of Houghton announced that they have begun work on replacing the culverts on Sharon Avenue and are working on repairing road shoulders in anticipation of the coming rains. Sharon Avenue at M-26 and Dodge Streets remain closed.
MDOT has received two bids for the installation of a temporary bridge on M-203 and have completed paving patches on two locations of that road. They continue to work on repaving sections of M-26 from Ripley to Laurium along with completing drain inspections along that route.
The National Guard continues to work on Coles Creek and is moving their big equipment to Beacon Hill today.
The DNR is continuing to work on the Bill Nichols and Lake Linden Trails. All trails remain closed to use of any kind.
The Michigan Tech Trails did sustain some damage in the flooding and are partially closed with the Walkout Trail being completely closed.