Flood waters leave devastation in Isabella County - WNEM TV 5

Flood waters leave devastation in Isabella County

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ISABELLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The floods in Mt. Pleasant left devastation in its wake. 

Tainted flood waters and damaged homes are now being assessed to figure out how much damage was done. Crews are also working 24/7 to keep the community safe. 

>>Slideshow: Flooding in Mid-Michigan<<

"This is what we planned for this. This is what we trained for. This is what we prepared for. You hope you never have to put this into action, but when you do it's good to have the best of the best,” said Margaret McAvoy, with the Isabella County Administration. 

So far, close to 110 miles of county roads have been compromised. More than 18 roads and intersections have been closed, and for now, they'll stay that way.

With regards to the Chippewa River, county officials are asking everyone to stay behind barricades for their own safety.

“We almost had a fatality on the river because two adults decided to go kayaking. We do not want people on the river. It is not the time to recreate on the river. It is too fast, it is two swift and there's too much debris in it,” McAvoy said. 

While crews are just now beginning to assess the damage, their basic estimate is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Isabella County is currently under a state of emergency due to flooding. The state of Michigan has also declared a state of disaster for Isabella and Midland counties.

If you have been impacted by the flooding and have a well, you are urged to get your well tested. Because of the declaration, the $16 water testing fee has been waived in Isabella County, just contact the Health Department.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter for those impacted by the floods in Isabella County.

The shelter is at Mt. Pleasant High School, 1155 S. Elizabeth Street. The entrance is through the gymnasium at the back of the high school. 

Here is the latest update from the County Road Commission for permanent road closings. These roads are not quick fixes and will take quite a while to get fixed:

Residents impacted by floods

Nicole Gill is 8-months pregnant. The historic floods in Mt. Pleasant left her and her husband Jordan without a home.

"It's a little frustrating and a freak accident. There is nothing anyone could have done," Gill said. "Our nursery is dry, but our living room and bedroom just got completely wet."

Emergency crews are working around the clock to help the Gills dry out and many others like them.

Meanwhile, city leaders are trying to bounce back and assess the damage.

Since the local state of emergency has been declared, state leaders are trying to see what kind of federal funding they can get.

Gov. Rick Snyder made a stop to Isabella County on Monday after checking out the flood devastation in Midland. He spoke briefly about trying to get some FEMA aid to the state.

McAvoy said they need to know what needs to be repaired first.

"You have a lot of damage, road damage, building damage. We have infrastructure damage. There is damage everywhere. You can just drive around and see it," McAvoy said.

Jerry Wiefieich went door to door in Lincoln Township to try to get an idea of the damage.

"We were asked to help out. We got til about 10 o'clock tonight. All the details have to be in for all the damage," Wiefieich said.

Dozens of roads have been compromised of completely destroyed.

Tony Casali, with the Isabella County Road Commission said 150 miles of roadways had to be closed over the weekend.

"Right now we are thinking about 20 will be definitely, which may take a couple of months and maybe even longer because they are completely washed out," Casali said.

He said at least $7 million in damage had occurred on the roads alone and that number is likely to increase.

As for Gill, she has four weeks until her little bundle of joy is going to need a place to live.

"We are just hoping that it will get all fixed before the baby comes," Gill said.

Brenda Crittenden said the heavy rains have caused several roads to close due to flooding, making it harder to get around.

"A lot of detouring. A lot of having to go out of the way to get to places we need to get to," The Mt. Pleasant resident said.

Luckily, the flooding didn't affect her. However, her cousin wasn't so lucky.

"She lost her car to the flooding and her house is completely flooded. And she has two little kids and she's a single parent," Crittenden said.

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