DELTON, Mich. -- Sandbags and a sump pump are on the defense in what should be Cheryl McCrorey's backyard. Instead, Upper Crooked Lake extends onto her property in the form of flood water. McCrory said authorities need to take action as soon as possible, as the water has already flowed over her retaining wall and flooded other properties around the lake.
“The neighbors and I have been putting sandbags around there, and we’re hoping to pump that water out and keep it away from my friend Carol’s house," McCrorey pointed. "Her house sits even lower than mine."
She added, “I would like them to drain off, go down a foot or two so that we can at least not have to worry about it getting any higher."
"If it gets higher, we are all doomed," McCrorey said.
"Been here quite a while, since probably the late 80s. Never seen the lake this high in my entire life," said Kyle Burnham, McCrorey's next door neighbor
He's a bit more fortunate, as his property is elevated, but it's clear he is no less concerned for his community. Burnham said some residents have the wrong focus and are worried about not being able to get their boats out on the water.
“We’ve got people who are in trouble right now," he said. "We’ve got people who need help. We’ve got people whose homes are underwater, their basements are flooded, their houses are flooded."
"I am worried about everyone’s well-being on the lake," Burnham said.
"If we got more rain, some of them homes that they're barely getting by will be flooded up into their floor boards," Barry County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull "They'll have to shut their power off and move to a hotel."
Dull noted the county is looking at two options. One is to bring in two pumps to drain the excess water into another lake. That would require permission from the Department of Environmental Quality. The second option is to redirect the water onto farmland, if there's a land owner willing to allow it.
“So those are the two big hurdles," Dull explained. "We have another option of taking the water about two miles away. Again, we got to get the water there. We’ve got to get property easements from the people, even temporary or permanent."
"We have to get [permission from] the DEQ, he added. "That’s the biggest thing is what they’re going to make us do before we pump it there."
DEQ has not returned our calls yet for comment.