Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Flash flooding along Chocolay River causes significant damage in Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Portion of M-94 was washed away.

PHOTOS & VIDEO: Upper Michigan woman grateful after overnight flood rescue

by Andrew LaCombe, FOX 11 News

Tuesday, October 18th 2016

Flooding around the Chocolay River in Marquette County, Michigan, Oct. 18, 2016. (SKYFOX)

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUK) -- Between three and four inches of rain fell in just a few hours Monday night in Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

No one was hurt, but at least three homes sustained major flood damage. While some homes weren't flooded, they were surrounded by water.

It's now hard to tell where the Chocolay River actually runs. This is about 10 miles southeast of Marquette off the shore of Lake Superior.

Watch extended SKYFOX video in the 'More Media' tab on the right side of this page.

Parts of U.S. Highway 41 and State Highway 94 remained closed Monday night.

Annie Goosmann says it wasn't the water that woke her up in the middle of the night.

"Bang, bang, bang on the door, out of deep sleep, not knowing anything," Goosmann said. "Not knowing that I was sleeping in water in my house. I just didn't even know."

Rescue crews woke up Goosmann, who found her house full of water.

"I just bought the house, just a few months ago," she said. "Poetic justice, hey?"

Police video of Goosmann's rescue showed the strength of the flash flood.

"They had the boat and they came and they got me and the dog," she said.

Fearing the Chocolay River would keep rising, rescuers helped ten people, two cats and two dogs, according to Chocolay Township police chief Greg Zybert.

"The water was pretty rapid, and there were people yelling," said Zybert. "You could hear them screaming, 'We're over here. We're over here.' They had flashlights."

More damage could be found up river. The rushing water took out a portion of State Highway 94 as the river flooded and large culverts failed. The Michigan Department of Transportation estimates the hole is 90 feet by 35 feet.

Jessica Rachuy and Andy Aho stopped to check out the hole in the highway.

"Mind blown completely," said Rachuy. "We've never seen anything like this here."

They were looking at the hole as more dirt and asphalt caved in.

"The power of the water is just unbelievable," said Aho. "You never know."

For Goosmann, sitting on her friend's porch, still wearing rain boots, her story has an unfortunate twist.

"I have, slash had, an appointment today at 11 to get my flood insurance," she said,.

While hoping for brighter days, Goosmann says she has many reasons to be grateful after a middle of the night rescue.

MDOT says it is keeping US-41 closed pending a bridge inspection.

According to MDOT, the posted detour route for northbound US-41 traffic is along CR 456 to M-35, then M-553 to CR 480, and back to US-41. The route is reversed for southbound traffic. Eastbound and westbound US-2 traffic in the Upper Peninsula headed toward Marquette can use M-35 as an alternate route to avoid the US-41 flood closure.

The M-94 closure is going to be a matter of weeks or months rather than days, MDOT said.