Residents battle dangerous ice, flooding issues along St. Clair River

Some East China Township residents forced to evacuate

EAST CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The St. Clair River started rising overnight Sunday and spilled over Monday in East China Township, sending residents scrambling from their homes.

A strong north wind pushed Lake Huron ice down the river and caused an ice jam near Algonac.

"Everybody goes into a panic," resident John Burden said. "We know that if we don't see the ice going to the right downriver, we're in deep trouble."

Resident Bruno Traks evacuated his riverfront house Monday night. He said his biggest fear was that lake ice would slide through his front plate glass window.

He returned Tuesday morning and found out that his house was fine. His neighbors weren't as lucky.

"(The water) came up to their house, so they're probably experiencing some flooding in the house or crawl spaces and up in their garage," Traks said. "But the seawalls -- you can see where the water was."

The ice froze so thick on several side streets that they had to be closed.

Snow plows aren't up to this job. Officials brought in a road grader that needed several passes to clear up the mess.

Residents are doing all they can to keep their homes intact. Traks said it's getting dangerous.

"The water came up to the gas meters," Traks said. "They would have to shut off the gas and that would have been a real tragedy."

Officials are working to deal with this type of trouble. St. Clair emergency management officials told Local 4 the U.S. Coast Guard committed to sending one of its ice breakers to the area to keep water levels stable.

You can see more of the flooding in the video below. Have you had experience with the flooding? Share your story in the comments. 

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