Reports to Barry County Commissioners on the flooding on Crooked Lake, Delton did not bring reassuring news. County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull updated them Tuesday, and engineer Brian Cenci sent in a report Oct. 2.
Dull reported on several attempts to find a solution to lowering the lake level, but water has to go somewhere and residents approached on nearby lakes are reluctant to add to their high lake levels. One promising solution was withdrawn by the property owners after a DEQ permit had already been issued. Another didn’t get that far when residents reconsidered their consents, Dull said.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has been very helpful, but there probably won’t be additional help from state of federal agencies, he said. “We’ve tried several different approaches…it’s challenging.”
Several unusually large rain events this fall have added to the problem and the pumping onto wetlands on M-43 stopped Sept 19 when it was within an inch of the maximum height limit allowed on M43. The emergency pumping had pumped about 250 million gallons of water into the wetlands east of M-43.
Cenci included charts in his report showing Watson Drain/Upper Crooked Lake pumping analysis, the daily rainfall at the lake and a drawing of a possible solution they are working on, involving an open air storage area for excess water that would infiltrate into the ground.
He said he and Dull don’t have time to reasonably compile and report on everything they are working on. “We only want to report on updates to firm or very promising progress, …but rest assured, not a day has gone by where Jim, I or someone from our respective offices have not been working vigorously to facilitate additional emergency short-term relief plans, or develop the long-term solution.”