Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 24, 2013

Thunderstorm washes sand into Kids Creek project

TRAVERSE CITY — Thanks to a pounding thunderstorm workers will have to hand-dig about five yards of sand that washed into the newly constructed, but still empty Kids Creek channel at Munson Medical Center.

The early Tuesday storm caused stream water to rise into the flood plain and go around the sheet piling that serves as a barricade between the existing stream and the new channel. The water carried sediment from the grounds bordering the creek, as well as the creek banks of the new channel, said Steve Largent of the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

Largent, who examined the stream Tuesday morning, called it a “non-event” since the stream didn’t breach the new channel.

“Nothing bad happened, but they’ll have to remove the sand that entered into the new channel and re-establish some of the gravel and boulders,” said Largent, who helped plan and implement the Kids Creek project. “There’s nothing, no issue as far as Kids Creek is concerned. It never reached the main channel. Everything is contained within the new channel and it’s not very far down. They’re just going to hand dig it out of there. It stopped just below the Beaumont Bridge.”

Munson is “day lighting” Kids Creek as part of its plan to build a new cancer center. The $2 million project will divert water that now flows through 900 feet of straight channels and underground culverts to a 1,275-foot winding stream. The release of water from the existing creek to the new channel is planned for late September when the vegetation is well established and prior to spawning season.

The National Weather Service in Gaylord reported an inch of rain fell in Traverse City early Tuesday.

“But it was a quick inch, it came really fast, which is why it led to flooding problems, said meteorologist Andy Sullivan.

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