Heavy rains bring flooding

July 2, 2015 —

A slow-moving storm last week brought a lot of rain to the area, and some of the worst flooding experienced in the area in years.

The rain gauge at the Hudson Waste Water Treatment Plant recorded .39 inches of rain on Thursday, July 25, then 1.28 inches of rain on Friday, then 2.56 inches on Saturday, for a three-day total of 4.23 inches. By comparison, Morenci had just over five inches.

The Waste Water Treatment Plant was one of the hardest-hit areas when the heavy rains came. Designed for a maximum flow of around 400,000 gallons a day, for several days it had to handle two million gallons or more. Ted Hutchinson at the plant reported that he and Jeff Gier at the plant were doing everything possible to deal with the inrush of water.

Storm water getting into the sewer system and the Waste Water Treatment Plant is a problem the city has been trying to solve for decades, with little success so far. It is currently believed that there is a connection somewhere between Bean Creek and the storm water system that only floods when the creek hits a certain level, but no one has ever been able to find it. There has been considerable grant-funded work done this spring to try to find the connection by smoke testing the storm water and sewer systems.

The Waste Water Treatment Plant was hardly the only place around the area that was hard-hit by the heavy rain. Sauerkraut Lake, the normally-dry marsh behind CR Motors, rose as a result of the rains faster than the drainage system could carry it off. As a result, the car lot at CR Motors flooded, although not badly enough to cause serious damage. Scott Cremeans at CR Motors commented that the only cars that got seriously wet were a couple of clunkers on the back row. The water receded out of danger by Sunday morning.

The same problem caused water to back up into the McDonald’s parking lot, to the point where it was unsafe to try to drive through the low area between the highway and the building. According to the McDonald’s office in Adrian, the store did not close early, although there wasn’t a great deal of business.

There was other trouble elsewhere. There were many instances of low spots in farm fields being flooded, and the high water along the creek took out a couple of trees, and there were others that went down, one in Maple Grove Cemetery. The water did not rise to the point where any bridges in the area were in danger of going under water. Some roads were closed in the area.

Hardest hit by the storm was Blissfield, where high waters forced the closure of US-223.