AU TRAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – This weekend, high winds and the formation of large icebergs at the mouth of the Au Train River have caused flooding along its banks. With nowhere else to go, the river is pushing water out onto homes and properties along its shore; causing major damage to the property of locals. Finally tonight, emergency crews begin the process of dredging the mouth of the river to relieve the rising water levels.
The Au Train Township Board met tonight to approve a resolution from MDOT; one of three agencies required to give approval on dredging projects at the Au Train River, giving crews from Seaberg Enterprises in Munising the green-light to start the process that could now take 2-3 days. The crews will slowly break ice abut 50 feet at a time to give the water a path to Lake Superior.
This is a new chapter in the decades-long rivalry between Au Train Township and the Army Corps of Engineers and MDOT over the mouth of the river and the M28 Bridge. Legally, the bridge and beach is state property, owned by MDOT, and the agency is hesitant to pass any dredging projects for fear of compromising the integrity of the vital M28 Bridge.
Au Train Township, however, has long been the victim of flooding on the banks of the river, due to how shallow the mouth of the river is. Ice and large volumes of sand can easily cause blockages that cause flooding to the town. Emergency and Maintenance Permits have existed in the past, but, they are now long expired and no replacement permits have been issued.