ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mich. – Ice jams along the St. Clair River caused significant flooding in Algonac to Port Huron Tuesday and Wednesday.
Read: Weather Alerts
The scene is not uncommon. Pieces of ice collect and dam off the river, causing it to back up. What was uncommon was the typical help used to prevent the St. Clair River from spilling over wasn’t available, causing damage all along the river.
Pumps were turned on Wednesday and by noon, the water receded at least a foot.
Two ice breaking ships -- U.S. Coast Guard’s Bristol Bay and Canadian cutter The Griffon -- have been conducting operations to ease the flooding.
Algonac resident Jody Elrod said the last comparable flood was in 1986, but 2021′s flooding was significantly worse.
Neighbor Kim Baxter went looking for the Coast Guard workers on the ice.
“We haven’t seen any activity all day. Last night, they came by about 6:30 p.m. as we were eating dinner,” Baxter said. “Have not seen them up and down the river, normally you’d have two or three working.”
Mike Baxter had to rush to put sandbags up when he saw the floodwater.
“Yesterday, I guess about 2:30 p.m., I was out in the yard and I could see the water coming over the walls here,” said Mike Baxter.
A representative with the Coast Guard said Bristol Bay was helping an ice-bound tugboat when its engine overheated.
An estimated 100 homes in East China were hit particularly hard. Residents are deeply concerned about the snowy weather expected Thursday.