HANCOCK, Mich. (WZMQ) – It’s been 5 years since what is known as the “Fathers Day Flood”, a rain storm that caused severe damage in Houghton County.
In 2018, around 46 million dollars worth of damage was caused by a surprise flood. It may not seem like much, but around 3 to 7 inches of rain fell over the Hancock area near Ripley, creating fast-moving flood waters that washed away roads and multiple structures.
“That morning we got up and everything seemed normal you looked outside it was beautiful outside and we just thought everything was fine and pulled up social media and saw that things weren’t fine,” commented Copper Shores Community Health Foundation Micheal Babcock.
People were stranded, roads were washed out completely and rock slides bulldozed through structures. “The road was completely out on both sides so there was absolutely nowhere we could go cause we couldn’t get past that road closure we could’ve climbed up through some stuff and found a way on foot but we found out that we weren’t the only ones that were stuck in a spot like that so it was really quite interesting being stuck like that because it gave us a chance to get to know the neighbors a little bit better,” continued Babcock.
5 years later, the Houghton County Road Commission is still rebuilding. “We’re still in the process of repairing 8 million of that we’re still working with FEMA to fund our final project,” commented Houghton County Road Commission Engineer Kevin Harju. The road commission plans to add structures to have a bigger path for waterways, but this most likely won’t take place until next summer.
“You’ll see the structure that was destroyed and it will be replaced with a 7 by 10 box culvert from that point all the way to the canal,” continued Harju.
“It was kind of a prideful moment for all of us cause everybody got together the amount of volunteers that came out of the woodwork and people were just everywhere to help out…It’s interesting we all depend on these systems for our normal society you know like the county or the state takes care of this road or whatever it is…we would’ve been stuck in our houses for a lot longer than we were instead people got out there and took care of it,” continued Babcock.