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      Gogebic County slammed with water issues, asks for emergency declaration

      Gogebic County issued a request Friday for a Governor's Emergency or Disaster Declaration after being hit by frozen water issues through the severely cold winter.

      According to Gogebic County officials, damage from broken water mains and let run orders has reached over $1.7 million and climbing. According to the request to the governor's office, 68 water mains have broken and 53 million gallons of water has been dispersed from let run orders throughout the county.

      According to emergency management officials, the cities and townships have exhausted much of their financial resources in dealing with the issues. Officials also expect that a majority of the county's fire hydrants are frozen up, and have contingency plans in case of an emergency.

      Gogebic County is asking for an emergency declaration to get financial assistance to response, recovery and mitigation efforts. This includes the extraordinary costs of debris removal, repair of roads, public infrastructure, public and private financial assistance for damages and financial assistance for homeowners.

      The county expects 2,800 homes to remain under a let run for six-to-eight weeks before the problems subside. The Ironwood/Bessemer/Wakefield water plant is currently pumping 1.5 million gallons of water per day to keep up with demands. The capacity for the plant is 3 million gallons per day.

      Delta County also requested an emergency declaration earlier this week. So far, only Marquette County has received a declaration from the governor's office.