Isabella County Looks Back on Flooding One Year Later

The flooding in the Upper Peninsula comes as we approach the one year mark since the destructive flooding in Mount Pleasant.

That flooding caused $87 million in damage.

A year later, Isabella County leaders say they’re thankful no one died or was seriously hurt, but they’re taking a look at the lessons to be learned.

Paul Erksin and her husband were just one of hundreds of families in Isabella County faced with heavy rain and flooding nearly a year ago.

“I woke up about 5 in the morning and realized it just wasn’t going to quit raining, so went down and put a lot of towels around the edges to try and get it to soak up, but we did go out and purchase a pump, the neighbor next door purchased a pump,” said Erksin.

A year later much of what the rushing water changed in an instant has been repaired. A few roads still need to be fixed and the county is also making technology upgrades when it comes to emergency management.

“We’re improving some of the technology in our emergency operation center. I think that we did very well however there’s always ways to improve it. We had poster size maps on the wall and we were going up and putting sticky notes and highlighters on it, that got us by, but now we’ve realized we can do that electronically,” said Isabella County Administrator and Controller Margaret McAvoy.

It’s just one of the lessons this flood left behind. Lessons that will stay fresh in the lives of those that lived through it and helped those who lost everything.

“I’ve seen many floods, but it never gets any easier and you can just tell by the numerous pain and suffering caused by something  as simple as water coming in, it wouldn’t stop, how it devastated their families and lives. When the devastation happens you say a prayer and you start to work,” said Capt.  Judith Lowder of the Salvation Army.

Some of the remaining road projects are expected to be completed as early as July.