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People living on lake in Livingston County on a mission to prevent flooding that's damaging homes

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 30, 2023

HAMBURG TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Mother of two, Dr. Amber Bismack, isn't just concerned about her two children when their home turns into an island after heavy rains flood Ore Lake. Bismack said there's also worry for senior citizens challenged with walking across flooded paver walkways.

"I actually had a phone call yesterday with a community member who called, very concerned about the fact they weren't sure if their husband could get in and out because of the water affecting the landscape around the house."

Hamburg Township has received 9.35 inches of rain this month, according to Hamburg Township officials who are urging boaters to observe no wake procedures to help prevent further damage to homes around Ore Lake where the crawlspaces of many homes have flooded.

"Right now, our garage is flooded. We can't park in the garage. We're trying to keep the garage door open to get the moisture out of it," said Diane Henry who has lived on Ore Lake with her husband for 26 years.

On Wednesday, Henry tried to encourage drivers to go very slow on Branch Road which is covered by the water that is overflowing from the lake on the other side of their home.

"When cars drive through too fast and they push the water into the house. I have a refrigerator in the garage that we're trying to save," Henry told 7 Action News.

On the other side of the lake is Kerry Adams who believes so much construction taking place in communities north of Hamburg Township is partly to blame for the flooding.

"When you build parking lots and roads and you have houses and hard shingles, the water has got no place to go. So as construction has picked up over the years, more of that water runs off into the bowl, which is what the lake is," said Adams.

Adams, Henry, and Dr. Bismack are part of Residents Working Against Huron River Flooding - a community group on a mission to gather data about the flooding that has increased over the years, in frequency and severity.

The group's goals include securing resources for homeowners to clean and protect their homes from future damage as well as minimize the speed and amount of water that flows into Ore Lake and improve its transmission out.

"We work with Hamburg Township. We work with Livingston County. We work with legislative offices to look at multiple different aspects of how to address and figure out what's going on with the flooding," Dr. Bismack said.

According to Residents Working Against Huron River Flooding, they've also partnered with area high school students, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Thriving Earth Exchange, and two hydrologists to find solutions to the problem.