Deb Englehardt and other Crooked Lake residents spoke in public comment times at the Tuesday Barry County Board of Commissioners meeting, telling commissioners what their lives are like now with the flooding that has plagued them for weeks and asking for solutions.
Sharon Ritchie said they have to use bottled water, and are fighting muck, blood suckers, sickness, sand coming up toilets and black mold, besides pumps and sandbags, the fear of a power outage, pump failure or possible electrocution. “People are losing their homes, she said. “The clock is ticking.”
Cheryl Reda gave the panel a petition and asked that Barry County officials “get out there and help us…we need immediate action to save our foundations.”
Cathy Mutschler said, “Someone I know needs to do something to help the people of Crooked Lake…not one person knew this was going to happen, not one person deserves this.”
But, Englehardt was clearly the most frustrated, near tears, as she pleaded for help. Everyone else seems to be going on with their normal lives, she said, while “our lives are not even remotely close,” to being normal, “our lives suck!”
She said they deal with flooded basements, being up all night, sandbags, and sump pumps and going door to door to help others. “You don’t understand,” she said. “We need help!”
“I don’t know whose fault it is, and at this point, I don’t even care. There are 280 residents on the lake; 256 are adversely affected; 193 have their beaches gone and piers underwater, 63 of us are at crisis; we are going to lose our property. It’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Englehardt said she is unable to find who or what is responsible for the continued flooding. “Everybody said, ‘go to this person, go to that person’…I’ve talked to senators, congressmen, I’ve gone to the newspapers, I’ve been on TV. I don’t know what else to do.”
Barry County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull said Wednesday he and engineer Brian Cenci, from ENG Inc., Lansing, are working on the problem every day.
“We plan to go to special the Barry County Commission meeting next Monday at 9 a.m. at the Tyden building to ask for funds for a solution that we think will solve the water problem.”
He said he wasn’t free to discuss the plan yet. “We have a few more pieces to put together, but this looks promising.”