LaBranche Tavern houses 19 people rescued from snowed-in home

 LaBranche Tavern, where the people ate and warmed up. (WLUC Photo)
LaBranche Tavern, where the people ate and warmed up. (WLUC Photo) (WLUC)
Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 7:01 PM EST
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Nineteen people are safe and sound thanks to the bravery of Menominee County rescue workers. They were snowed in and stuck with blizzard conditions outside Monday.

"(Monday) morning we got a call from 911 dispatch and they had informed us that there was a family on the north end of the county that was in need,” said the Menominee County Road Commission Assistant Engineer and Manager, Darrell Cass.

Ten children and nine adults were stuck in a family cabin, on North Gaber Road, off of M-69 in Spalding Township. The cabin, located six miles off the main road, was on an unplowed road with two feet of snow on it.

"The first step was to send out a plow truck to try and get the roadway done. Unfortunately the roadway hasn't froze yet, so we had some soft conditions and our plow truck go stuck,” said Cass.

A grader got the truck back on track.

"We were able to get in quite a ways, I think within quarter mile of where the family was, and EMS services took over and got them out safely,” said Cass.

When the owner of LaBranche Tavern heard what happened, she quickly opened her doors, to house the people for around 5 hours.

"Unlocked the doors for them and made them hot coco and coffee and they got to eat and stay warm,” said Lauri Carlson, the LaBranche Tavern Owner.

Carlson said she is just happy she could help.

"I'm glad that we were here, I'm glad that we have a big enough place where we had heat and everything so they could be safe and be warm,” she said.

Almost seven hours later, the family was on their way back home.

"It was a long day for a lot of folks, but the coordination effort was great, I'm glad the family got out safe and sound and everybody was good to go,” said Cass.

The Menominee County Road Commission, Spalding Fire, Meyer Fire, Harris Fire, Cedarville Fire, Michigan DNR and Menominee County Sheriff's Deputies all responded to the rescue.

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