Environmental concerns holding up flooding fix

TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Homeowners around two flooding lakes southwest of Kalamazoo are growing frustrated with the state's environmental agency, saying its red tape is preventing a fix to the problem.

Texas Township officials have described the situation at Crooked Lake and Eagle Lake as a "flooding crisis." The water levels are about 4 feet higher than last year, and about 150 surrounding houses have water in them. 

Jennifer Abnet and her husband bought a house on Crooked Lake in 2011 to be close to the water. Now, after a year of continual flooding, they're finding that water too close.

“If we don’t pump 24/7, we flood,” Abnet said.

The problem is Crooked Lake doesn’t have a natural outlet.

The solution seems simple: pump water from Crooked Lake into a neighboring lake or downstream.  But the township needs a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to do that.

"Everything’s kind of on hold thanks to the DEQ," Abnet said. "If we pump from our lake into Bass Lake … and then it goes downstream, (the DEQ) is worried about some kind of a turtle, some kind of a frog, I believe, and some kind of a rattlesnake.

"Right now, we just need to start pumping, because we can’t live like this," she added.

24 Hour News 8 couldn’t contact the DEQ for comment late Friday night.

Full story on WoodTV.com

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