Buchanan experiences minor incidents following storm last week
BUCHANAN — Residents of Buchanan experienced some minor flooding and issues stemming from the onslaught of rain and snowmelt that hit the Michiana area last week, filling the St. Joseph River to a historic capacity.
Buchanan City Manager Bill Marx said as of Friday that downtown businesses owners experienced several inches of water in their basements, due to groundwater seepage and some poor drainage near the facilities.
“We are counting our blessings based on what we see in Niles,” Marx said. “I really feel for Niles.”
Marx said the lack of flooding has initiated a discussion about revising the flood plain. Those with properties in the flood plain are required to buy into flood insurance, Marx said. However, given that a few properties saw a lot of water, Marx said city officials hope to meet with FEMA this summer to revise the current map, which includes the area from Clark and Chicago streets to Front Street up to the beginning of the Clark property which is near Lehman’s Orchard Brewery and Farmhouse, 204 Red Bud Trail. Marx said he hopes this could save residents and business owners money down the line.
Marx said elevation played a role in sparing the city of Buchanan from high waters. He also credited the removal of the Clark Park Dam, which was part of the McCoy Creek Watershed Improvement plan that was initiated four years ago. Since the dam’s removal, water from the McCoy’s Creek has been able to flow unobstructed.
“Now we have a clear flow of water through that area, and that has made tremendous difference,” Marx said.
Following the heavy rains, Marx said the McCoy Creek had the highest water flow he had ever seen, but the creek did not stray from its course. Marx said only some lowland natural areas experienced some flooding, which was to be expected.
The city’s storm system was flowing at maximum capacity during the heavy rainfall, according to Marx. The wastewater treatment plant, which usually treats 600,000 gallons of water a day, was treating up to 200 million gallons of water due to rain and snowmelt. The treatment plant’s capacity is 300,000 gallons, Marx said.
Representatives from Indiana Michigan Power own a hydroelectric dam just north of Walton Road. Marx said there were no structural concerns with the dam, but there was some concern about water breaching the top of the dam.
I & M released a statement earlier in the week stating that the Buchanan Hydro Plant was near capacity but that there was still enough leeway to process high waters. On Friday, the company said that the high flow event at the Buchanan Reservoir was no longer in effect, but that officials would continue to monitor river levels and dam conditions.
CASSOPOLIS — A local energy company recently addressed a national stage. Robert Hance, president/CEO of Midwest Energy & Communications, addressed... read more