Saturday, October 06, 2012

Flood and Evacuation

FROM:Richard Steiger
TO:Laurie, Chip & Dylan Tom Steiger Jana Steiger
Message flagged Saturday, October 6, 2012 10:47 PM

Well this has been an interesting day.

Our only plans for today were to play computer games, putz around the yard, go to Sam's Club to pick up a few things, and watch Michigan vs the Boilermakers.

The weather was weird. Sunny for a time and then cold rain. At some times it was sleeting but then it was bright and sunny again.

After playin' and prunin' we were preparing to go shopping when the tsunami siren sounded. In the past, we have gotten a postcard warning us when they planned to test the siren but not this time. Soon, our phone rang and our neighbor informed us that the Brown Bridge dam was breached and we were under a flood warning. However, he had been told that it would take 3 - 4 hours for the flooding to reach us. It was about 11 so we decided to have lunch, see what developed and if it didn't look serious, we'd go to Sam's and then come back home to watch the action. By noon, there was no sign that anything was happening so we headed out.

We did our shopping along with about half the town. It is Saturday after all. It took us longer than we had planned. After checking out, we loaded the car and drove to Chum's Corners, and turned left down the hill to River Rd. As I made the turn onto River, a State Police car came past the line of cars waiting to turn onto Keystone toward me. I pulled off on the shoulder to let him pass but he pulled over to block me. We were told that River Rd was closed and that people were being evacuated. I explained that we lived here and we at least wanted to go home to lock up and grab some clothes in case we had to spend the night. He gave us permission and pulled out of the way.

We had the road to ourselves until we got to the Blair/East Bay Twp. line, about a half mile from home. There, the Blair Twp EMT truck sat with lights flashing, blocking the road. I explained that we wanted to get home to lock the house. Their orders were that no one could drive past. Fine! I pulled a U turn, parked by the side of the road, left Nancy in the Rav and walked. I mean, what are they going to do? Arrest me? Well, maybe.

I walked homeward as fast as I could, crossed over to the tracks and when I got to our drive, there was a Sheriff's car waiting for me. I was out of breath but explained once again what my mission was. He agreed to allow me to lock the house but he had to go with me. I made a quick pass, locking the place, I didn't grab clothes, foo foo, or anything other than a laptop and the Jeep keys. The Deputy let me walk up to the barn to get the Jeep and then followed me out to the road. I drove back to Nancy and we decided to meet in the library parking lot to decide what to do. We decided to leave the Jeep there and check out someplace where we could watch the game. The news on the radio was that the area had been evacuated and would probably remain closed until morning.

Last spring when there was a major power outage because of a storm, folks were driving to Kalkaska and Cadillac to find rooms so we decided we'd better grab one if we could. The first place was full but they checked for us and found us a room at the Comfort Inn. We checked in and then went to Target to pick up skiv's and toiletries to get us through the night. Back at the motel, we watched the Blue come through and then at half time found out on a news program that the evacuation was lifted and that we could go home if we wanted to.

But first, the second half. Denard had an outstanding day. In addition to passing for over 100 yards, he ran for 235 and set the rushing record for QB's in the Big Ten. Final score - M 44 P 13.

 Go or stay? Lets discuss it over dinner. We've paid for the room but Nancy pointed out that, except for those we watched in our living room, that was the least expensive game we've seen in years. We decided to get the Jeep and head south with both cars to see if we could in fact go home. When we got to the River Rd./Sleights Rd. intersection, River Rd was blocked by a barricade but it was unmanned so we just drove around it. It was dark when we got home and unpacked so we're not sure what things look like. Nancy saw in her headlights that Barker's place was surrounded by water and I took a flashlight and saw that the boardwalk has been displaced. We did get some flooding but I'm guessing not more than 3 - 4 feet.

 A full inspection will have to wait until morning.