EagleHerald/John Liesveld
While waters had receded by Monday morning, this sign on Water Street reveals some of the extent of the isolated flooding that occurred throughout Marinette since Thanksgiving weekend, after high winds pushed waters from the bay back into the city’s rainwater drainage system in this area.
EagleHerald/John Liesveld
While waters had receded by Monday morning, this sign on Water Street reveals some of the extent of the isolated flooding that occurred throughout Marinette since Thanksgiving weekend, after high winds pushed waters from the bay back into the city’s rainwater drainage system in this area.
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MARINETTE — Across the river, residents and officials in the County and City of Marinette shared many of the same woes that plagued Menominee areas as the wintry mix washed — and then froze — over the region during Thanksgiving weekend.

Just ask 5-year-old City of Marinette resident Gannin Behnke, who spent Monday morning outside his home on Bird Street, while his mother, Myrisa McRorie shoveled the heavily packed snow and frozen slush covering their sidewalk. In fewer words than his age, Behnke summed up the quantity of rain, snow, ice and wind that clobbered the area since Wednesday.

“It is a bunch,” he said.   

CAUTION, HIGH WATER WHEN FLASHING

McRorie explained that ever since October, when a road construction project along Bird Street was completed, flooding occurs along the road whenever significant precipitation falls. She and her neighbors, Sharon Clayton and Andy McNary, all said the road never experienced flooding issues prior to the construction.

“The city is always coming down here to put up ‘Caution Signs’ because there is always a big puddle,” she said. “It gets deep enough that the water reaches up to the frame of our (pickup) truck.” 

Not far away, along Water Street, “Caution, High Water” signs marked another troubled section of Marinette on Monday.

City of Marinette Superintendent Patrick Carlson explained that the some of the flooding issues arise from the near-record high levels of Lake Michigan, compounded by high winds and precipitation. 

“Basically, the height of the (water in) the bay pushes the water back into the storm sewer,” he said. “And with the northeast winds, there is really nothing we can do besides barricade and make sure people are aware of it.” 

Marinette resident Herb Kelly lives on the stretch of Water Street not far from where it intersects Second Street. During the first storm Wednesday, which arrived mostly as rain and sleet for Marinette residents, Kelly said areas between First and Second streets along Water Street, the road was completely submerged. 

“When we have heavy rains it floods all the time,” Kelly said. 

Monday in Red Arrow Park, a sheen of smooth ice extended across the ground, while shoreline trees sagged with heavy clinging icicles that formed as waves powered ashore. The parking lot and many of the grassy areas held ankle deep and partially frozen water that had crashed over the barrier the night before and then froze as the weekend storms and colder temperatures dropped across the area. 

Dick Monnette of Marinette said that the night before Thanksgiving, barriers restricted entry to the park as about 6 or 8 inches of water stood over portions of Red Arrow. On Monday, Monnette ventured out to the park for a first-hand look. Living in Marinette since 1986, he said he never saw flooding along the shore this bad.

“The erosion is getting so bad that it is washing the soil away from the roots of the trees and the trees are falling over,” Monnette said, pointing out some of the sagging and damaged trees along the shore.

Despite some of the persistent but isolated flooding in the City, Marinette County Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Frank said that following the second round of winter weather Saturday night and into Sunday, she had not received any calls from residents or municipality officials requesting assistance for flooding issue. 

“How it is supposed to work is that if a municipality is experiencing issues that they don’t have the resources for, then they call the county for assistance (due to flooding),” Frank explained. 

CONTINUED MARINETTE CLEANUP

In the City of Marinette, Carlson reported that city Public Work’s crews would continue to clearing snow and slush throughout the week, hauling truckloads to the city’s snow dumps.

“We are not even close to finishing the work right now,” Carlson said Monday afternoon. “We had 10 inches of nasty weather, so there are a lot of roads that still need to be cleaned up. The biggest thing we are challenged with right now is with cars parked on the streets.”  

He reminded people to remain aware of approaching weather and to remember to abide by the city’s overnight parking ban. Additionally, residents should try to stay cognizant of snow-clearing progress along streets and avoid parking on roads that still need to be plowed.

At the county level, Franks also underscored the magnitude of the storm’s impact across Marinette County. She echoed some reports from the Michigan side of the Menominee River that recorded 20-plus inches of snowfall. Traveling became very hazardous as conditions worsened throughout Sunday. Additionally, she highlighted the number downed trees in the area due to high winds and the heavy, wet consistency of the snow. She also emphasized the importance of maintaining good emergency plans for severe winter weather response.  

“We are not even officially in the winter season,” Frank said. “We have a lot of weakened trees (in the county) because of all the rains this year. So be prepared for power outages. Have an alternate means for heating your home. When this much snow falls, we cannot always rely on someone coming to rescue us … but a little planning can go a long way. And please don’t forget about pets and livestock.” 

The Marinette County website (marinettecounty.com) contains valuable information for weather emergency preparedness. Navigate to the county’s main page, click on “Departments” and then “Emergency Management.” Then click on “Preparedness” on the left.