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Preparations Underway For Next Storm

Houghton County is bracing for another round of storms in the forecast.

Local residents are understandably worried about the potential for flooding after the amount of damage done during the previous storm.

Houghton City Manager Eric Waara says crews are working to clear culverts and open drainage systems.

“We’re doing everything we can,” said Waara.  “We started to deploy storm readiness areas for areas that we may be concerned about, but that’s one thing we did actually late last week and early this week. There were certain storm drains we wanted to make sure were clean and ready to go and that’s actually what we’ll be doing over the next couple of days is making sure that these areas that we are most concerned about, whether we don’t want the restorative work damaged or we’re worried about further damage, those areas are ready for another rain and hopefully we don’t get a lot.”

Though it is unlikely the area will see anything like the 7 ½ inches of rain that fell during the early morning hours of Father’s Day, Waara says emergency response teams will be standing by in case the waters begin to rise once again.

“If we start seeing something, everybody’s going to be pretty much on deck when it starts raining this week and ready to lace them up,” Waara said.

Waara gave a recount of the damage to the Houghton City Council at their regular meeting Wednesday.

The city suffered nearly $15 million in damages, not including damages to private homes and businesses.

Four main corridors of the city were damaged by flood waters but there were pockets of other damage scattered around, in addition to the roads.

The beaches at Ray Kestner Waterfront Park were heavily affected with the smaller beach on the east side of the park being completely washed away.

About 75 percent of the boardwalk at the Nara Nature Park was basically destroyed.

Waara said the silver lining in all of this was that the city owns a lot of equipment designed for clearing snow, which have proved to be very effective at clearing flood debris as well.

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