Marquette County municipality prepares for elevated water levels

Low-lying areas like parking lots and some basements could experience flooding over the next few days from the Chocolay River.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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HARVEY, Mich. (WLUC) - As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued a river flood warning for the Chocolay River in Harvey.

That means low-lying areas like parking lots and possibly basements will be covered in water. Chocolay Township Supervisor Richard Bohjanen said supervision will be key going forward.

“I think we’ve had two floods this spring as opposed to more commonly only one flood, but I don’t think that we’re any worse off this year than we have been on the other years,” Bohjanen said.

Bohjanen said their public works will monitor two flood gauges over the coming days.

The owner of Griffin Construction said when river levels rise, water could get into your basement.

“Especially with the heavy, wet snow that we had earlier this week, up against the foundation where it has when it melts. It’s going right down the side that’s going to eventually get into the ground, into the foundation because the ground doesn’t have any place to go with it,” Goriesky said.

Goriesky said there are extra precautions people should take if their basement does end up flooding.

“If you have flooding, especially in your basement, electrical cords that are laying on the ground, appliances you have plugged in, and things like that. You want to watch to make sure none of those get surrounded by water so there’s a shocking hazard,” Goriesky said.

Bohjanen said the township is in good shape and is prepared for the rising waters. Goriesky said utilities like a shop vac are useful to help remove water from your basement if that happens.

Marquette County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hummel recommends the following procedures when pumping water out of flooded basements to avoid serious damage, collapse or injury to occupants:

  • Begin pumping when floodwaters are no longer covering the ground outside.
  • Pump out 1 foot of water. Mark the water level and wait overnight.
  • Check the water level the next day. If the level went back up (covered your mark) it is still too early to drain your basement.
  • Wait 24 hours, and then pump the water down 1 foot again. Check the level the next day.
  • When the water in the basement stops returning to your mark, pump out two to 3 feet and wait overnight.
  • Repeat daily until all the water is out of the basement.