Flooded Eastlawn Cemetery

A state lawmaker is not standing for standing water at a Mid-Michigan cemetery.

The issue prompted complaints from families of the deceased and tough questions from TV5.

Families said Eastlawn Cemetery in Saginaw County flooded so bad they couldn’t access their loved one’s grave.

According to one woman whose husband was killed in action, she first encountered the issue 12 years ago. She spent more than $4,000 to have her husband’s body exhumed and moved him to a different location.

But she never forgot the emotional pain that came with burying her husband a second time.

That is when State Rep. Jason Wentworth, of Clare, got involved.

Wentworth said he has made dozens of calls to the company. The company was on site on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to pump water from the affected areas.

Wentworth said it is a step in the right direction, but this is a problem that needs a long-term solution.

“This is an ongoing problem for the last 12 years. There needs to be a significant change in the way this situation happens in the future,” Wentworth said.

Wentworth went on to say there is nothing in state law that would stop this type of thing from happening.

"We require cemeteries to be licensed and why are we doing that if there's no follow up or no protocol in place to make sure this stuff doesn't happen," Wentworth said.

He said he and his team are looking at this as an opportunity for change.

"We're digging in to figure out where in state law can we change some of the practices and procedures that cemeteries have to follow, at least from a regulations standpoint and a licensing standpoint," Wentworth said.

He said Eastlawn was recently acquired by new owners who are located in Canada. He said they have been cooperating and he is confident this issue will be fixed entirely.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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