U.P. rivers still running high

REPUBLIC – Flooding continued to persist Saturday across the watersheds of several Upper Peninsula rivers, including the Michigamme River near Republic where waters lapped up against homes and camps and pooled over roadways.

National Weather Service forecasters in Negaunee Township said the Michigamme River reached its 9-foot flood stage Thursday at the Bengtson Bridge. The water reached 9.7 feet at 10:47 a.m. Saturday and was projected to begin falling, dropping below flood stage Monday morning.

“At 7.7 feet, water begins to impact the yards of homes near Bengtson Bridge,” forecasters said in a flood warning issued Saturday.

The warning was also issued for the Michigamme River near Witch Lake until Monday night.

“The Michigamme River continues to rise, however, the rate of the rise has slowed as cooler weather has diminished the melting of the remaining snowpack,” forecasters said Saturday morning. “Warmer weather will arrive (Saturday) and remain in place through mid-week. This will allow the remaining snowpack to begin melting within the Michigamme River drainage basin, allowing the river to remain steady through late (Saturday night) before slowly falling through Monday morning.”

Along Bengtson Road, water had reached the outbuildings next to a home where the water had risen high into the yard. The current of the river was strong and steady.

Farther upstream along River Road, water remained across the roadway several inches deep and the water had reached some buildings along the river.

For the Sturgeon River near Chassell, flood warnings were in effect Saturday until further notice. The river there was slightly above the 10.5-foot flood stage. The Sturgeon was at the 8-foot flood stage near Alston, where a flood warning is in effect until Monday night.

Additional flood warnings were in effect until at least Monday night for the Menominee River near Florence, where the river was at the 9-foot flood stage Saturday morning. The river was at its 13 feet flood stage Saturday near Niagara, Wis., and a flood warning was in effect until at least tonight.

A flood advisory was in effect until Tuesday morning for the Paint River in Iron County. At 8 a.m. Saturday, the river was at 6.7 feet, with flood stage at 7 feet. A flood advisory means minor flooding is possible and rivers are forecast to exceed their banks. The National Weather Service predicted the Paint River would remain below flood stage and continue to drop.

A flood warning was canceled Saturday for the Brule River near Commonwealth.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net