Three years ago today Houghton’s ‘Father’s Day Flood’

Some lingering effects of the flood are less noticeable than others.
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Father’s Day Flood took roads, damaged cars and swept up anything else that crossed its path.

Houghton’s emergency response teams were able to act fast and mitigate damages – but to this day, the effects are still visible.

“One of the first things was to make sure everybody was safe,” said Houghton City Manager Eric Waara.

He recalls what it was like to get phone calls about the floods. Being Father’s Day, he thought he would have gone fishing that day.

“Following that was really trying to get a detailed damage assessment,” added Waara. “What’s damaged... what’s not working,” he said.

Houghton County Road Commission Manager Kevin Harju says repairs are difficult because of a limited construction season and the severity of the flood.

“To just see how destructive the flood was, it was something nobody in the area has ever seen,” said Harju. “It was a thousand-year flood, so nothing is designed to handle that much water flow at once.”

Harju also explains that as a result of the damage, it will cost about $42.5 million to repair.

Currently, the road commission hopes to complete $10 million of that this summer, completing $38 million of the 42.5. Leaving about $5 million for next year.

“So, definitely like to stress for the public to be patient with it and all the construction going on this year because it’s going to be a busy year,” said Harju.

For a list of ongoing repairs, see the Houghton County Road Commission construction update.

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