This should have been an uneventful Annual Meeting, but after the February “flood” that took out a large chunk of Cuddy channel-side just below the Debris Barrier (there also was erosion upstream just south of M-179), helping to build the ever-growing deposit of sediment in front of Mike Seagly’s house…. we had a lot of questions.
The good news: as we stood at Seagly’s house (corner of Patterson and Valley) after the meeting, we could see Pavlak Construction’s excavator with a large pile of riprap, ready to repair the washout. It seems that during the flood, water was racing down the hill north of the yellow house, crossing behind the house, and crashing into the Cuddy, creating an eddy which carved out the one spot without riprap 😦 That is fixed now. Mr Pavlak did this work under warranty, which is awesome!
Also – Pavlak again cleaned out the Sediment Basin. I think what we’re seeing is erosion of the “raw” reconstruction of the drain. Once grasses/plants become established, there will be less erosion. Brent Scholten the engineer from Allegan County, walked the entirety of the Cuddy Drain recently, so has a good grasp on what is happening. Our teeny little watershed is not being overlooked and I hope our Drain Commissioners know that we appreciate it!
But once again, the Cuddy has dropped its sediment on the east side of the Patterson Bridge. The current seems to do a counterclockwise gyre, so we have a horseshoe-shaped deposit of sand about 18″ below the surface at its highest point; and it’s out of the reach of an easy fix, like a Vacu-truck which was sent to remove at least some of the deposit earlier this spring. In the meeting, Mr Englerth suggested that if you live at the delta of a river, this is to be expected. (paraphrased). I suggested that Mr Seagly be refunded his portion of the dredging assessment, since his navigation is being impeded. After the meeting several of us went to Seagly’s house to look at/measure the sand deposit; and different options for clearing it out were discussed, including using a bubbler to push the sediment away from Seagly’s frontage. I suspect that since Mr Seagly should be able to park his boat in front of his house at the moment, they might wait a year to deal with the sediment, in the hopes that as the stabilized channels stop erosion, one more dredging on the east side of the bridge should keep things clear for many years?