Residents had to be rescued due to rising flood waters in Arenac County on Wednesday.
According to central dispatch, the Standish and Sterling Fire Departments evacuated and rescued people in the Pinnacle Park Neighborhood along the Rifle River.
That’s in Deep River Township, in the Sterling and Omer areas.
"It was like an instant. At 7 this morning that broke and then all of a sudden this happened," said Robert Chidley, resident.
He couldn't believe his eyes when several large chunks of ice started floating past his driveway Wednesday morning.
"I've been here three years and I've never seen it this bad, never," Chidley said.
The National Weather Service reports a significant ice jam is responsible for some of the rising waters on the Rifle River.
Don Kroczaleski, reserve firefighter for Sterling, was almost forced into action on Wednesday.
"Originally went over to the Pinnacle area where it's all flooded down there and then we thought we'd come down here and check it out here. But I didn't realize it was that much ice jammed up here," Kroczaleski said.
The heavy ice blocks caused a pile up along the river, forcing flood waters to a nearby campground where canoes, paddles and tree branches were scattered everywhere.
Kroczaleski said the campgrounds are a popular summertime attraction, but he believes this could set things back in the spring when they are up and running again.
"It's a big campground area and this is a campground area across the road here too. And as you can see, it's all flooded. So, not much you can do with it now," Kroczaleski said.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter for those that need it.
“Our disaster workers have shelters open now and also will be there helping people recover,” said Kimberly Burton, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross in Michigan. “Our volunteers have been active since the waters began to rise and we’ll continue to monitor this evolving situation across the state and do whatever we can to help impacted communities.”
The shelter is now open at Deep River Township Hall, located at 525 East State Street in Sterling.
It's not clear how many people are impacted at this time, but no injuries have been reported.
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