Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 1, 2014

Residents cope with flooding

TRAVERSE CITY — The sump pump in Karen Rushlau’s Almira Township basement hasn’t stopped pumping water out of her house for more than two and a half weeks.

It’s the first time she’s had this problem in the nine years she’s lived in her house in the Pine Woods subdivision off Lake Ann Road, south of Fowler Road.

“We’ve been able to keep up with it, but we have neighbors down the street that are flooded. It’s all because the water table is so high right now,” Rushlau said.

She and her husband attached a hose to make sure all the water was pumped into woods by the house instead of in the backyard.

The water table in the area rose several feet, and now residents are contending with flooded basements. Frank Post, Benzie County emergency management coordinator, will meet with impacted residents Sunday.

“They want to know if there’s anything we can assist or provide them with,” Post said.

Post said he received several calls from residents reporting the flooding has gone on for weeks. He suspects all the precipitation of the past year, including the damp fall, record snow, and spring rains caused the water table to rise.

“The hydraulic pressure of the water is cracking floors and then they leak, so there have been some problems with that,” Post said.

Dean VanHoorne, who lives just south of Rushlau, said his basement only recently started to flood. He suspects road construction on Fowler Road last year played a role in some of the flooding in the neighborhood.

Officials at the Benzie County Road Commission declined comment.

VanHoorne also thinks his basement is flooded in part because neighbors diverted their excess water onto his property.

“I feel bad for them, everyone is flooding back here,” VanHoorne said. “Its been going on for over a year now, I’m just starting to feel it.”

Terry Money, the former Benzie County drain commissioner who held the position for 12 years, was surprised to hear about the problem because the soil there is absorbent.

“I’ve never heard of a flood in that area,” Money said.

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