HOUGHTON COUNTY, If you looked around most of Houghton County, you might be surprised to know it's only been a year since the devastating flood. Most of the major roads have been repaired, and many local businesses that were affected have rebuilt.
"We, were very fortunate here in Houghton, our public works department was able to do a lot of work last summer. We were able to do that with our own forces and bring someone in to pave later in the summer so we did get a lot of permanent work done right away last year," Said Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager
However for some, like Bethany Jones of Ripley, the damage done still affects their daily lives.
"I just can't wait to be in my own home again, it’s happening now. We've been living out of boxes and crates and relying on the kindness of others for quite a long time now and I’m looking forward to getting my life back," Jones said
Jones' house was almost entirely destroyed by the flood, when a wave of debris came rushing down and engulfed the house. The property has become too dangerous for Jones’ and her family to live on.
"We're not sure that we can be there and I’m pretty sure my 4 year old and 9 year old do not need to be adjacent to it when there's still a potential for flooding," added Jones
Local residents have gotten help with rebuilding through charitable efforts from the community and businesses like the portage health foundation. The foundation has spent nearly 2 million dollars and funded 339 projects to help members of the community.
"It became pretty apparent that there was not going to be emergency aid for the private land owners, you know the home owners. We had some communication with the attorney general office right away, and we were able to mobilize some of our funds through the foundation," Said Kevin Store, Executive Director of the Portage Health Foundation.
There's still lots of work to be done repairing the damage caused by the flood, but the county is doing much better now.