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Highways closed in the U.P. due to flooding

About 35 feet of M-94 in Marquette County, Michigan washed out during flash flooding on Oct. 18, 2016. (SkyFox)

MARQUETTE COUNTY, MICH. (WLUK) – Ten people were rescued Tuesday morning in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as quickly rising flood waters threatened their homes.

More than three inches of rain fell late Monday in east-central Marquette County. Sections of the Chocolay River quickly rose, prompting a flash flood warning.

The flood water shut down a handful of roads, including U.S. Highway 41 in Skandia Township.

Local law enforcement and rescue agencies plus the United States Coast Guard were called around 4:00 a.m. eastern time. Chocolay Township police chief Greg Zybert says no one was injured.

“The water was now trapping people in their homes, and we had to rescue ten people from their homes. Two dogs and two cats,” said Zybert.

The water was receding by 8 a.m. Tuesday, but there were some tense hours, Zybert told FOX 11.

“The water was pretty rapid. And there were people yelling. You could hear them screaming, ‘We’re over here. We’re over here,’” he said.

Some Gwinn students who live in the affected areas were excused from classes Tuesday.

FOX 11 will have more coverage of the severe weather tonight on FOX 11 News at Five.


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Update as of 7:15 a.m.

Here's the latest on road closures:

Highway 41 is closed between Heidtman Road and Yalmer Road. Southbound 41 traffic is being rerouted down County Road 480. NB Highway 41 traffic is being routed onto M-94 east.

M-94 between County Road 545 and Engman Lake Road is closed.

Green Garden Road is closed.

Magnum Road is closed.

People are advised to limit travel in the area if possible until conditions improve and the roads reopen.

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Update as of 6:30 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting in water rescues in the Chocolay River area.

Students in the flooded areas in the Gwinn Area School District will be excused from school. Buses won't be running in those areas.

School will go on.

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Update as of 5:40 a.m.

We just talked to officials in the Chocolay Township, they tell us at least 10 people have been rescued.

They say they aren't sure how many people they still have to rescue because the water is still rising.

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Update as of 4:45 a.m.

Facebook post from the Marquette County Central Dispatch:

Further update: The National Weather Service in Marquette has issued a flash flood warning for the Chocolay River basin until 1000am. Several rescues underway. Areas affected include Harvey, Skandia, Shotpoint, Carlshend, Beaver Grove. Use extreme caution. The roads previously reported closed are still closed.

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A couple major highways are closed due to flooding in Marquette County.

Highway 41 is closed in both directions in the Skandia area due to flooding.

And westbound M-94 is closed in the Chocolay area. About a five mile stretch is closed.

Officials tell us there are several washouts in this area.

These highways will be impassable for awhile according to officials.

We have also learned of a water rescue going on in the Chocolay area.

Facebook post from the Marquette County Central Dispatch:

US 41 in West Branch Township / Skandia area is CLOSED due to flooding at the Chocolay River (just north of Yalmer Rd / Hyndman's General Store).

W M94 is also CLOSED between Engman Lake & N Co. Rd. 545 due to the road being washed out.

Michigan State Police, Skandia-West Branch Fire Department, and Marquette County Road Commission are on scene.

Northbound commercial vehicle traffic on US 41 should use E M94 to M28 in Munising. Passenger vehicles can take Co. Rd. 456 from US 41 to M35.

Do not attempt to drive through flooded roadways. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

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