Melting snow, rain flood local waterways

Melting snow, rain flood local waterways

City Manager Jonathan Smith and DPW Director Mike Speagle monitor the overflowing Mill Pond, last Wednesday. Photo by Phil Custodio

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Historically high rain combined with melting snow flooded local ponds and roads last Wednesday, including Mill Pond downtown.
“Worst yet in the 12 years that we have been here,” said Kimberly Berry, Main Street resident who lives next to the pond. “It’s not to our home but very close to the garage. Sounds like the Niagara Falls coming over the spillway – we have rapids going through the yard.”
“Water was getting impatient and would go around the spillway into and through Kim Berry’s lawn,” said City Manager Jonathan Smith at the Feb. 26 City Council meeting. “It was a perfect storm of a foot of snow melting and two inches of rain.”
The city worked with the private owners of the Mill Pond dam to ensure it was fully open, allowing drainage into the Mill Race and then into Middle Lake, Smith said.
“We are also monitoring closely the water levels of the Mill Pond, Parke Lake, Middle Lake, and Deer Lake and all the connections in between. Daily pictures are being taken to ensure conditions are not worsening,” he said.
Water levels have receded since last week, he said.
The National Weather Service Oakland County station reported a record 1.1 inches of rain on Feb. 20, with another 0.48 inches of rain on Feb. 21. The previous record for Feb. 20 was 1.07 inches in 1891. Normal rain is 0.08 inch. Rain is expected this week, with a high near 44 of Thursday but a chance of snow Friday morning. Friday is expected to reach 39, though.