Conservation corps workers doing great work in flood relief

Thanks to support from the Keweenaw Community Foundation and other local and regional funding sources, the Superior Watershed Partnership was able to deploy additional crews from the Great Lakes Conservation Corps to assist the flood-ravaged communities of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Currently, a total of 16 GLCC crew members among four crews are assisting the communities of Houghton, Hancock and Ripley. The SWP deployed the first GLCC crews within 24 hours of the storm event, which took place June 16-17, to help with disaster relief.

“This was a historic storm, estimated by some to be a 1,000-year event. The problem is, these sorts of events are becoming more common with a changing climate,” said John Lenters, senior scientist with Lentic Environmental Services and SWP consulting climatologist, in a news release. “First Duluth, then Ashland, now Houghton makes three historic flooding events in the Lake Superior region in just seven years. These are exactly the types of events that are expected to become more common, but we don’t need to wait for the future. They’re happening now.”

This storm has dealt the U.P. a crushing blow that Yoopers certainly aren’t used to, but it has also shown the resolve that the people of our region have when faced with a disaster. We come together to help our neighbors in time of need, and we do so very quickly.

“The young men and women of the Great Lakes Conservation Corps mobilized quickly to assist our community in recovery. Their enthusiasm and work ethic has been much needed,” Jim Vivian, executive director of the Keweenaw Community Foundation, said in a news release.

We applaud the efforts of the GLCC and so many other groups that have rushed to the aid of the people of Houghton County. A great deal of residents lost their homes, and some lost things that can never be replaced. The least we can do is roll our sleeves up and offer to help in the recovery process.

“A rapid response is critical when providing disaster relief,” said Emily Leach, SWP program coordinator, in a news release. “We’re proud that our crews were able to assist the communities of the Keweenaw on such short notice.”

— The Mining Journal, Marquette