‘Experts actively evaluating solutions’ to Crooked Lake flooding: Barry County

Posted at 8:11 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 20:28:28-04

BARRY COUNTY, Mich. -- Today, Barry County officials held a press conference on the flooding around Crooked Lake.

County emergency management coordinator Jim Yarger said twelve homes have sandbags on their border, so far. Carol Snow is one of the property owners who's depending on them.

"We had water coming up our heater vents in the house," Snow said.

It's a battle she said she's never had to fight in her 22 years living on Crooked Lake.

Snow explained, "We still need to pile them [sandbags] higher because the waves are coming over the sandpile."

She, like many of her neighbors, wants to see action taken by the county to protect their properties.

"They need to pump some of the water out of this lake. You get another couple of storms, you're gonna be right back where you were," she said.

Barry County Commissioner Ben Geiger said, "All levels of government, county, state, local are working very well together. This is a complicated situation, and the solution is going to take some time."

Geiger held a press conference Wednesday morning alongside side Yarger. It was held after they met with the Department of Environmental Quality. Both said the flooding situation is being monitored closely. However, with 300 bodies of water in Barry County, Geiger said extreme care needs to be taken not to adversely impact other waterways and properties.

Yarger said, "In meetings that I've been in, there's the permit process and... if we move this water somewhere else how does that impact those people?"

"Those people have a say in it, and that process takes time," he added.

In the meantime, officials are hoping the water recedes just like everyone else.

Snow said, "We thought we were gonna get a really big storm and wasn't sure how that was going to impact us. But the pumps are doing their job. So they cleaned it right out."

FOX 17 meteorologist Erik Kostrzewa learned the following:

For the year so far, Crooked Lake has picked up about 22.91" of precipitation. Normal by this point is 16.98", showing a surplus of 5.93".

As for the last ten years, most have been above normal (normal being 37.41" annually). The few that haven't still are not far away from the annual average.

Officials said part of the challenge is figuring out what is causing Crooked Lake levels to rise because they believe it is a variety of factors. In the meantime, there are four places people can pick up sandbags and help will be available for people who need assistance carrying or placing bags around their property.

You can call 2-1-1 for more information.

The sandbag locations are:

Oak Drive, East Shore Drive, and the Barry County Road Commission at 1725 M-43 Highway in Hastings, are the self-fill stations.

The ready-made station is located at the Prairieville Township Hall at 10115 S. Norris Road in Delton.