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Eagle, Crooked Lake residents seek flood relief help from DEQ in Lansing

Eagle, Crooked Lake residents seek flood relief help from DEQ in Lansing. (WWMT/Jason Heeres)
Eagle, Crooked Lake residents seek flood relief help from DEQ in Lansing. (WWMT/Jason Heeres)
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A group of homeowners from Texas Township in Kalamazoo County visited Lansing on Wednesday were they hoped to find a partner in their mission to find flood relief.

Some of the homeowners who live at Eagle Lake and Crooked Lake left feeling assured they have found some assistance. The lakes had elevated water levels since Feb. 2018.

“We wake up every day with another inch every time the snow melts, every time it snows, it rains, whatever, like the water keeps getting closer,” said Ken Toy, an Eagle Lake resident.

A property owned by Toy is vacant after the lower level flooded with several inches of ice and water. He planned to tear the home down.

“The fact that a process, that we respect, is holding this up is just very frustrating,” Toy said.

He was part of a group of homeowners from both lakes, joined by engineers and leaders with Texas Township, who traveled to Lansing on Wednesday for a meeting with the Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Liesl Eichler Clark.

Eagle Lake Association President Amy Coon was also in the meeting with the DEQ.

“It’s one roadblock after another, and with the weather that we’re having it’s a ticking time bomb,” Coon said before leaving for Lansing on Wednesday morning.

Her frustration comes with the DEQ holding up a plan to pump water into Bass Lake to save dozens of homes.

An issue delaying the process was a question the DEQ posed to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. The organization wondered if they had the authority, as property owners, to sign off on the plan to pump water near or through their property.

A second issue revolved around habitat for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, which received federal protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Both issues have been cleared as obstacles, but Coon said it would still be several weeks before homeowners would learn if the plan was approved.

“It just causes a lot of anxiety,” said Jennifer Abnet, a Crooked Lake homeowner. “We just hope that they’ll listen to us and put themselves in our shoes. I mean we’re all people, we’re all humans. We just want them to do what’s right."

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Newschannel 3 reached out to Clark at the DEQ for comment on the meeting and situation overall, but hadn't heard anything back.

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