Drain commissioner warns that next
storm could result in worse water problems

DRYDEN — Heavy rains on Saturday caused flooding in the village of Dryden.
The area of Mill and North streets was closed to traffic for a period of time while water covered the streets and sidewalks. The excess water filled several residents’ yards too.
Kayla Addison, a North Street resident, said flood waters entered her home. She estimates that eight inches of water filled the back room of the home, damaging appliances and a safe.
“It could have been worse, thankfully they uncovered the drain in time,” Addison said.
Village Clerk Holly Shroyer said DPW workers were able to pull drainage grates, allowing the water to flow away faster.
Shroyer said village officials believe the county drain that runs behind homes on North Street was the cause of the flooding.
“We’ve been in contact with the county and they are aware of the issue,” Shroyer said.

A house on North Street in the village of Dryden is surrounded by water after several inches of rain fell in the Tri-City area.

Lapeer County Drain Commissioner Joe Suma said he sent an employee to the village on Monday to assess the situation, noting that it’s been an ongoing issue.
Both Suma and village officials agree that the infrastructure at that area is undersized.
Suma said the Dryden Drain was functioning, but not able to keep up with the volume of rain that came down on Saturday.
“The tile lines there are inadequate for big rains,” noting that there are manholes along the system too, in both residents’ yards, and in the park to the west, that are supposed to provide additional seepage.
“My office can only maintain or replace the system that’s there. Either the village, township, county or residents can petition to try and change what they have, like a larger pipe system and some kind of retention,” Suma said.
Still, if a municipality or group of residents opts to file a petition for drainage system improvements, the process has multiple steps and can take more than a year to break ground on.
Elsewhere in the county, Suma said flooding was reported in the usual spots where drains and rivers overflow during a significant rain. The National Weather Service did not release rainfall reports for the weekend storm but Suma estimates about two inches or more fell in the county.
The weather service issued an ice storm warning and flood watch Friday night and forecasters are predicting another storm, with rain and ice, will return to the Tri-City area this coming Saturday, Jan. 18.
“If drains are at maximum or full at that time, we could have a lot worse flooding from this next storm,” Suma said.
“We’re keeping our eye on everything we can.”