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Kawkawlin River Overflows
Tittabawassee Near Flood Stage, Farmers Fret

Planting Delayed Because of Wet Conditions in Fields, Crop Status Uncertain

April 13, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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The Kawkawlin River is creeping up toward homes at the Mackinaw Road bridge.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Bottomlands of the Kawkawlin off Mackinaw Road are inundated.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Rising water fills wooded areas near the Kawkawlin River south branch.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Farm fields are too muddy for spring planting to begin until conditions change and equipment can be used.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Wet conditions have caused puddles and muddy fields, hampering spring planting, as shown at this field in Monitor Township.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

The Kawkawlin River overflowed its banks in the past day or two, flooding bottom lands, as continual wet weather is delaying planting for farmers, gardeners and horticulturists.

The Tittabawassee River at Midland, always a flood threat, crested at 23.42 feet early Sunday morning, near flood stage of 24 feet, but receded to 21 feet at 1 p.m.

Main flooding of the Kawkawlin was observed Sunday in the area of the Mackinaw Road bridge with water creeping up toward homes and low lying areas inundated.

Dick Somalski (Right), of Bay Landscaping Service, Essexville, said wet conditions have set back planting several weeks and threatened the entire season.

"We just can't get out into the fields because of the mud," said Mr. Somalski.

Many farm fields throughout the county showed puddles and muddy spots throughout, although many of those that are tiled appeared dry.

"The farmers really have not been able to plant so far and we don't know when conditions will allow normal planting to occur," said Mr. Somalski, one of the area's top horticulture and agronomy experts.

The USDA reported wintry conditions refused to let go from the upper Midwest into northern New England, where temperatures averaged at least 5 degrees F below normal in many locations and where deep snow still covered the ground by month?s end. In Caribou, Maine, for example, March began and ended with a 30-inch snow cover, with the depth peaking at 36 inches on March 21.

Michigan crop plantings were reported behind schedule because of the rainy conditions, with no sugar beets planted, in contrast to last year when about 5 percent of the planting had been completed by April 7. Michigan, Indiana, North Dakota and Minnesota comprise 83 percent of all sugar beets grown in the nation. ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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