Father's Day Flood road construction update

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HOUGHTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - In Houghton County, the Father's Day Flood left an unprecedented amount of damage. While most personal property has been repaired over the past year, work continues right now on highways and roads.

The Houghton County Road Commission says repairs to flood damaged roads are halfway done.

"We worked all the way up until Christmas. We tried to repair as much as we could we got about 15 million repaired and we have about 15 million yet to repair," said Kevin Harju, an Engineer with the Houghton County Road Commission

Houghton County Road Commission crews were some of the first people on the scene after the flood hit, working long, grueling hours to fix the roads that had been destroyed.

"Everyone was starting before the sun came up, and no one was going home until the sun was going down for many weeks in the beginning," added Harju.

The road commission worked hours like these for nearly a month, fixing the high traffic roads that had been hit by the flood, and continued working diligently throughout the following year.

However, there have been more complications from the flood than previously recognized.

“There’s a lot of latent damage out there and after this winter now, between the city the county, the townships, we've been seeing that. You can see the damage now that wasn't seen and that took a whole winter for that to really manifest at the surface. As far as repairs go, some of the permanent repairs have been started," said Eric Waara, the Houghton City Manager.

The repairs have also been slightly delayed by monetary issues, with the damages to the roads far exceeding the county's budget for repairs. The county has had to apply for government funding.

"FEMA was here right through the fall, they're still here off and on because they've got the documentation done and now we have to go through the rebuilding process, which they'll be helping to pay for. So they're here off and on and will probably be involved in the area for a couple of years yet," added Waara.

While the county still has work to be done, the road commission wants the public to know that while it may seem like a slow process, the work is being done, and they hope to be finished sometime next summer.

"You’ll see a lot of construction zones throughout the county, unfortunately, but we have to repair the roads, so there is going to be a lot of detours and delays just while the repairs are ongoing," said Harju.