Isabella County Road Repairs Underway After Flooding, Schools Begin Discussing Detours

"These permanent road closures are going to be here for some time,” says Tony Casali, Isabella County Road Commission Manager.

Many roads are still in shambles, weeks after flood waters ripped them apart.

It’s leaving drivers on their own to find detours.

Road repair crews have been replacing roads swallowed by intense rain from last month.

Around eight inches of rain fell within a matter of hours, flooding several counties.

In Isabella County roads suffered more than $8 million in damage.

And more than 120 road sections were completely washed out.

9&10’s Cody Boyer met with schools in the area and the road commission.

He tells us how they plan on getting kids around the mess as class gets ready to resume.

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"It’s really crazy when you see them first hand and you look at how large the gaps are,” says Jennifer Verleger, Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent.

It’s like looking at the aftermath of an earthquake, scenes the Isabella County Road Commission Manager, Tony Casali, has been surveying.

“We’ve had 20 to 25 miles of roadway that was closed,” Casali says. “We were up to 120. We brought it down to 25."

Some intersections, like Remus and S. Wise Roads, are still gone.

Repairs will take a while longer.

“At this point, we are looking at about 5 miles that are completely having a disruption in them, meaning there is pavement or the culvert had been washed away,” Casali says. “We’re looking months out at this time."

The road commission manager says thousands of dollars of road repairs still have to be done but they’ve narrowed it down to only a few miles.

Still, for the school, that leaves them looking for detours.

“Every year, our drivers come in a week before school starts,” Verleger says. “They verify their routes."

The Mt. Pleasant Public Schools superintendent says buses will have to alter their routes.

“From a community member’s perspective, they’ve really made some quick improvements,” Verleger says. “Come the end of august, though, we are going to have to make some decisions as far as how we will reroute our buses on those stretches."

“The bus runs straight from Shepherd out to Winn,” says Chris Petrimoulx, who lives within a stretch of road blocked off by “Road Closed” signs. "To go down there and see the magnitude of all the water that just tore the road right out, it’s really something to see."

Chris and his five kids live on Blanchard Road, down the road from a massive washout.

He says the signs of work so far are promising.

“I don’t have any doubts that they’ll have a plan worked out that makes everything work so that the kids are to school on time as they should be,” Petrimoulx says.

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