The village of Old Mission is swamped – literally. Connie Sargent emailed me the other day and said her basement is flooding due to a major water issue in the village of Old Mission.
Water from Prescott Lake, aka Swaney Lake, is spilling into nearby fields and homes, likely due to an overgrown drainage ditch and melting snow from the mid-April storm.
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Peninsula Fire Department was called in to help some of the villagers get to dry land after their home flooded. Connie said she’s had nine days of flooding, resulting in pumping about 1000 gallons of water out of her basement every day.
Steve Largent, Grand Traverse County drain commissioner, said trees growing into the drainage ditch, which likely hasn’t been maintained since it was built in 1987, are rerouting the water’s normal flow.
Parts of Swaney Road, Brinkman Road, and Old Mission Road are affected, with water levels rising above local septic tanks and sump pumps running around the clock. Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff said flood water over the roads should be treated with extreme caution, especially if you don’t know the depth of the water.
However, things are moving forward to remedy the situation. As soon as the necessary permits are in place, work will begin as soon as possible to clean out the drainage ditch and clear the culvert of any obstructions. This will likely be a joint effort of Peninsula Township, the Grand Traverse County Drain Commissioner, and the Grand Traverse County Conservation District.
Below are a few photos I shot today, and the road doesn’t seem to be quite as wet as in recent days. However, there’s still a major creek running basically from Swaney Lake through the fields (where fish have reportedly been spotted swimming), around the old store (corner of Brinkman and Swaney Road), down Swaney Road, and through the south side of Haserot Beach into East Bay.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb