Ontonagon resident says floods a-coming

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette From left to right, Ontonagon Village Council President Ken Waldrop, Village Manager Joe Erickson and Trustee Don Chastan look over documents at Monday’s meeting.

ONTONAGON — The question of flood preparation was raised at Monday’s Village Council meeting.

Since 2017 high water levels on the Ontonagon River and Lake Superior have been causing issues for local residents.

Those with property near bodies of water are experiencing flooding and water damage.

Resident Tom Hamilton raised the idea of planning ahead for problems during the meeting public comment period.

Hamilton is already noticing warning signs.

“My docks are under water out there,” he said.

The combination of high water levels, storm surge and runoff levels could cause issues, Hamilton explained. With spring runoff from Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan itself, he predicted problems.

“There’s a possibility we could have a flood, and it wouldn’t come over the dike. It’d come up through your storm sewer most likely. But it’s coming, so I was just wondering if you’ve got anything lined up in case of a flood,” Hamilton asked.

“I just thought I’d bring it up because we’ve got plenty of time to work on it,” he said.

Manager Joe Erickson suggested the concerns be taken to the county emergency manager. Protocols from that office and the Upper Peninsula Power Company’s flood hazard plan can be reviewed.

“As far as preparing for sandbags and such, we do have sandbags in stock to some extent, but most of that would be through the county emergency manager,” Erickson said.

“Buy a couple of boats, give one to the Sheriff’s Department,” Hamilton suggested.

No further action was taken by the council at the meeting.