Emergency crews prepare for floods as snow melts

As many people anxiously wait for spring to arrive, the warmer weather may cause flooding across the area.

As many people anxiously wait for spring to arrive, the warmer weather may cause flooding across the area.

As of Tuesday there were no major flooding concerns throughout northern Michigan, but emergency management coordinators are looking ahead and preparing for the worst.

Those who live near waterways are keeping a close eye on the levels this spring, and emergency management coordinators keep in touch with the National Weather Service on a regular basis.

â??Their concern was that we got a warm snap and that if we got higher temperatures 60-65 degreesâ?¦ with the frost in the ground, even though we're located on beach sand here with that frost that water has no place to go expect in people's basements,â?? said Frank Post, Benzie County Emergency Management Coordinator.

He says the frost is estimated to be 70 to 80 inches deep, but the recent weather conditions have been the best case scenario.

â??If you get 35-40 (degrees) during the day and then it cools off to freezing at night you're going to get the melting, but it's not going to be that torrent of melting that would cause flooding problems.â??

Post says nearly 100,000 sand bags are available to emergency crews in northern Michigan counties. He has plans in place just in case the water rises, and wants homeowners to have a plan of their own.

â??(We) touch base with all our shelters to make sure they're prepared just in case. We just brought online two government facilities that now have generator power in case we lose power some place.â??

Post does not expect ice jams to be a big problem in Benzie County, but is keeping a close eye on runoff water, especially when snow and rain begin to fall.

â??A lot of rivers are near bank full. We don't really have any big flooding going on across northern Michigan right now but we have a storm system coming in Thursday into Friday. That one looks pretty messy and could drop of decent amount of rain or freezing rain across the area,â?? said meteorologist Joe Charlevoix.