OSCEOLA COUNTY – Damage caused by the storm that blew through Northern Michigan last week could take months to clean up in Osceola County.
Though all roads are open, according to Osceola County Road Manager Luke Houlton, cleanup could continue as late as winter.
“Right now, we are in cleanup mode and focusing on cleaning up the underbrush, stumps and other stuff from the storm,” he said. “If there is nothing else, we could be looking at 3 to 4 weeks. If we find more is needed to be done to the roads on top of the initial clean up, it could take the rest of fall, perhaps even into winter to get everything cleaned up.”
The Evart Cycle Trail, however, is closed until further notice due to clean up, according to a press release on Sept. 4.
Damages initially cost thousands of dollars and will continue to cost the county as cleanup continues.
“My best guess is (up to) $25,000 in initial costs just to punch a hole through the damage,” said Houlton. “If we were to only take the 3-4 weeks, we are looking at another $90,000-$100,000 to fund the cleanup.”
The cleanup cannot happen all at once, though, said Houlton, and the extent of the damage plays a large role into how quickly cleanup can happen.
“This will be spread out over time,” he said in reference to the money and manpower available. “We can’t stop everything just to clean up.”
Neither Reed City’s nor Evart’s DPW offices could be contacted for comment on damages or cleanup due to being out of the office.