Creeping Sturgeon: With snow coming, river’s getting eyed

Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette Rose Anderson’s house in Chassell appears to be threatened by the Sturgeon River, but she says her basement has never flooded and is not worried it will flood this year either.

Thursday’s weather will include as much as 10 inches of snow across the western Upper Peninsula, according to the National Weather Service, but meteorologist Keith White is optimistic it will be the last winter storm of the year.

Of course, you cannot be 100% certain, he added.

The storm front sweeping in from the south early Thursday morning will deposit snow across the UP, with some “lake enhancement” and possibly some lake effect on the tail-end, according to White. There is also a slight chance of freezing rain.

“At least over the net couple of days that snow melt should slope off,” he said.

Rapid snow melt and an inch of rain have caused some minor flooding, particularly along the Sturgeon River in Chassell and Alston, but White said the impacts are relatively minor so far, limited to some dirt roads.

The melting of large amounts of snow has also caused many basements across the UP to flood.

Rose Anderson, who operates Sturgeon River Kennels where U.S. 41 crosses the river southeast of Chassell and lives across the highway, is used to the river coming over the banks during spring.

“To get to the back door, it would probably need to come up another two feet,” she said.

She said the view from the highway makes her situation look worse than it is and that her basement has never actually flooded.

The kennel business is on even higher ground. Once the river crests the banks, it has to flood the fields and much of the sloughs before it can raise enough to reach her home.

Anderson said this year looks a little different than most, with much of the ground already saturated from the wet fall in 2018 and the surplus of snow.

She said this spring might be “a little interesting,” but she is not worried.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Anderson said. “I love this time of year.”

She admitted she cancelled plans to leave town this week.

“I think I’m going to stay home and keep an eye on the river,” she said.