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Flooding remains 'pretty significant' in St. Clair County

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

St. Clair County homes along the river continued to be punished by high waters Monday that were redirected by ice buildup and caused shoreline flooding that started early last week.

Emergency management officials said Monday the river was nearly at 580 feet with at least 50 homes impacted in areas such as East China Township, which sits along the St. Clair River just south of the city of St. Clair.

There continues to be a flood warning through 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. There were two ice blockages in the St Clair River late Monday morning south of St. Clair with the worst flooding located in Marine City north to St. Clair, the weather service said.

Rosey Tague, 72, of Fort Gratiot takes photos of a Canadian ice breaker shipper on Lake St. Clair from Mariner Park in Marine City.

"That's pretty significant for us," said Mark White, the deputy director for the St. Clair County office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, of the river height. "The flooding has pretty much remained constant over the past 24 hours."

Two ice cutters were on the river Monday, White said.

One of the neighborhoods there in East China Township "has interconnecting canals that tie into the St. Clair River, and that's where we've seen a lot of the issues in that spot."

Houses surrounded by flood water can be seen along Pointe Drive in East China, February 3, 2021. Heavy ice on the St. Clair River caused water to back up into homes.

Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard sent in four ice breakers to clear ice build-up in the St. Clair River that has caused coastal flooding, trapped ships from traversing the waterways and temporarily closed a ferry service.

White said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard will confer with county officials and others on what the next steps will be.

"Everyone is pretty much engaged in this whole process," White said.

St. Clair County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeffrey Bohm last week signed a local state of emergency declaration that lets the county give money and support to the cities and townships coping with widespread damage from the flooding. The county can seek more aid from the state if it exhausts county-level emergency cash.