South Haven marinas, streets continue to flood after recent heavy rain

City officials repair drawbridge last week and says it’s now ‘operational and will be for rest of season’
Posted at 7:49 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 19:49:56-04

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich.  — With the water continuing to rise to record levels on Lake Michigan, South Haven city officials were concerned about its impact on the drawbridge that connects South Beach and North Beach, said harbormaster Kate Hosier.

So, they made a few adjustments.

“We did our repairs to lift the motor mechanisms the week of April 20,” Hosier said during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday. “That work has already been completed. Bridge attendants are back on duty. The bridge is operational and will be for the rest of the season.”

A portion of Dunkley Avenue, located next to the drawbridge, was filled with several inches of water. Many vehicles turned around when they saw the orange road-blocked signs in front of it.

She said the roads flooded because of the heavy rain that fell this week. However marinas around town flooded due to the rising water level.

“This is what we’ve been anticipating,” Hosier said. “Of course this shows you what we’ve been looking at, what we’ve been advising elected and appointed officials since the beginning of the year.”

Since 2017, the water level on Lake Michigan has risen to record levels which caused widespread floods and erosion. Piers and beaches were submerged underwater. A few residents' homes and yards began falling into the lake.

“I know that people are still trying to mitigate that erosion,” Hosier said. “Those efforts are continuing. Of course with the current pandemic, that’s making things a little bit difficult.”

Hosier said the pandemic closed many businesses in the downtown area. However, parks have remained open.

As for city hall, they’re hoping to open the marinas on May 15 should the executive order be lifted, she said.

And visitors should expect to continue to abide the order’s rules when they reopen, she said.

“We will all be following the CDC guidelines for social-distancing,” Hosier said. “I anticipate that they’ll stay in effect. We’ll just have to see what the recommendations are and follow them the best we can. “