Alger County residents help neighbors in need

Published: Oct. 25, 2017 at 7:30 PM EDT
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Towns along Lake Superior have been assessing and repairing damage from the storm yesterday. Thousands of residents lost power due to the storm, including all of AuTrain Township.

Several people in Alger County decided to reach out to their neighbors, and offered what they could to assist those affected.

AuTrain saw a severe impact from yesterday's storm.

"The river yesterday was one foot from the underneath of the bridge on m28," AuTrain Supervisor Michelle Doucette said. "I don't think it's ever happened actually, we've had the river rise in previous occasions, almost every year but it has never risen to that significant level."

"My kids jump off that AuTrain bridge in the summer time and now it's like the water is right up to the bridge, it was crazy," Alger Falls Motel owner Brenda Walther said.

With the storm bearing down on the UP, one Munising motel decided they could help their community.

"My husband and I were talking about how many, all the power outages, all the trees that were down, and just that, how many people were without power and heat and water," Walther said. "He said hey we're slow so why don't we offer up some rooms and I said yea, that's a good idea."

In AuTrain Township, the storm knocked out power for every home, closing roads and forcing some families to evacuate, all on a night that dipped below freezing.

"The cleanup process is happening right now, what we did do is we opened up our community building as a warming center for anyone in the surrounding area," Doucette said.

Power was out for nearly 30 hours in AuTrain, until around noon today, with some residents in AuTrain Township still without power.

The Au Train Community Center has a generator, and area residents filled the hall while power was out in their homes.

"AuTrain grocery pitched in and they gave us food, filled up our refrigerator," Doucette said. "We have welcomed many residents we were here all night last night we had people stay overnight, we had them sleeping on the floor on mats with their sleeping bags and it worked out quite well."

Doucette said residents are still welcome to use the facility while their power is out.