Wexford Co. Manistee River Expected To Raise Above Major Flood Stage

This continuous onslaught of rain is starting to tip the scales for many rivers.

Some threatened to breach their banks Tuesday night.

“It’s pretty unique. I mean, just to see it climb in a couple of days as quick as it did.”

Constant rain brought the Manistee River onto land near Sherman.

Roger Zak’s Wilderness Canoe Livery has a front row seat.

“It just started happening Monday, you could see it coming up, little by little,” Zak says. “You see a lot of debris. A lot of trees that bust loose from up above, come floating, bobbing down the river.”

Zak pointed out a post emerging from the water near the livery.

He says it’s an example of how much the Manistee River has swollen.

The post is actually supposed to be where the bank.

The water is almost up to the bridge.

Wexford County Emergency Management coordinator Sarah Benson says by Wednesday, it will be just under major flood stage.

“There’s usually some property flooding but maybe not impacting homes, businesses and roadways,” Benson says. “Once we get into major flooding, that’s when there is an impact on structures and infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, it’s still rising.

“We’ve had over four inches of rain in the last two days and counting,” Benson says. “We’ve had the report of at least one roadway that is covered with water.”

“We had our gravel roads in very, very good shape…until Sunday,” says Alan Cooper, Wexford County Road Commission manager.

Water leaving the river could cause more messes, like 37 Road near Manton, which flooded over.

The road commission can’t grade until it’s dry.

“It hasn’t stopped raining so now they are muddy, people are driving down them, they are starting to get a lot of little potholes in them,” Cooper says.

“We’re okay for now, but of course everyone is watching it very closely,” Benson says.

The Manistee River is expected to drop below flood stage Thursday night.

Until then — as rivers rise, so should care.

“Take precaution,” Zak says. “Don’t go driving through it.”