HOUGHTON — A city turned upside in under 5 hours. The devastation continues in Houghton just days after receiving between 7 and 8 inches of rain.
“It doesn’t happen very often, its definitely a 100 year plus storm I would imagine. It was just too much water at a quick duration. It was a 3 hour period at 3 AM TO 6 AM. None of the storm drains or culvers could handle it,” Kevin Harju, Engineer Manager for Houghton Road Commission.
Out of all the storms that have happened here in Copper Country, they have never seen anything like this. There are over 50 roads that are damaged and they are projecting millions of dollars in repairs.
“I know there’s a lot of home repair, a lot of flooded houses that have been damaged. Some very severe. We’ve had a lot of landslides. So we just want to open up the roads and make it safe,” said Harju.
“Something like this is very common in California, mudslides and everything. We have always said that the great thing about living up here is that we don’t have those kinds of disasters. We have snow and that’s it. This, this is an event. We have been here 39 years and we have never seen anything like this. This much rain, in such a short period of time,” said Tom Merz, Houghton Resident.
Authorities are still assessing the level of damages. Officials are asking the community to use extreme caution when out on the road.
“I would just advise everyone to be cautious; the water has subsided a little bit. It doesn’t take much water to sweep someone down a river. I would just be cautious if you’re out at area we have damage,” added Harju.
The city is currently working with local contractors to start fixing the roads. They are estimating that it will take the majority of summer or even longer to finish all the roads.
The road commission will be posting about what roads are closed off to traffic.
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