High winds flooded Bay County's shoreline and resulted in flooding and property damage
BAY CITY, MI - The storm that recently swept over mid-Michigan caused some headaches, especially for those who live along the Saginaw Bay shoreline.
The storm began on Wednesday, Sept. 22 and continued on until Thursday, causing flooding in low lying areas and downed trees in Bay County, particularly in Bangor Township, due to a persistent, strong wind that sparked the Saginaw Bay into reverberating.
The issue with this storm had little to do with the rain. The sustained, strong winds coming straight out of the northeast forced the bay to come ashore and both rivers to rise quickly, Ryan Manz, Bay County Emergency Management Coordinator, stated in he Friday, Sept. 24 email to The Bay City Times.
The storm had the most significant impacts, according to Manz, on properties along the Huron Bay shoreline, along Kawkawlin River near the bay, and along Bay City's Saginaw River.
Bay County experienced 1.57 inches of rain, sustained wind speeds of 30 miles per hour, according to Manz, the National Weather Service (NWS) is reporting that Bay county experienced approximately 1.47 inches in rain with the highest gust clocking in at 47 mph at MBS airport in Freeland.
However, Manz noted that wind speeds are typically higher along the shore, with a north or northeast wind coming down from the Saginaw Bay.
We were seeing considerably higher gusts over the bay, and they were coming quite often, he said.
From midnight September 22 to 6 a.m., Manz stated that the Saginaw River gauge gauge was lowered three feet in Essexville from midnight Sept. 22 through 6 at noon. 23 September.
Despite the severe winds and rapidly rising waters during the storm, Bay County did not see any significant infrastructure damage.
Manz claimed the county did not receive any reports of damage to roads or bridges, and any road closures that were put in place during the storm were only made owing to water that was pushed in from the wind at the time.
One of the difficulties we were dealing with during the flooding was driving through flooded roads, Manz stated. We repeat the mantra of turn around, dont drown in order to save lives and reduce pressure on first responders. When they have to evade stranded motorists from flooded roads, it takes them away from another, inevitable, emergency.
Another reason we don't want people to travel through flood waters is because of the damage to private property, he added. When your vehicle travels through the water, it emits waves that move onto the surrounding private property. Those waves, despite their tiny appearance, damage garage doors, mobile home skirting, and other valuable property.
Manz is urging residents to take care of flood damaged goods and materials after this week's flood. Residents are now in clean-up mode following the incident, and now that they're in the process of removing toxins and contaminants.
Remember that flood water may be extremely contaminated, and items that have been exposed to it should be treated as a consequence, he added. Everything exposed to flood waters must be disinfected appropriately. Take a look at your insurance firm to see what is and isn't covered.
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