EAST CHINA TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Officials in St Clair County are keeping an eye on a few dozen homes that are in danger of flooding.

Parts of the county are under a flood watch and Jeff Friedland with St. Clair County Emergency Management says homeowners reported the St. Clair River started to rise rapidly with a wind shift Thursday afternoon.

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Talking to WWJ’s Sandra McNeill on Friday, Friedland said homes along the river in East China Township already have flooding on the lawns.

Friedland says there may be an ice jam, but high water levels are also playing a role.

“Back in the late 80s we had significant flooding because of the high water levels, you know, throughout the year,” he told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “Water levels dropped for a long period of time, but now they’re coming back up.”

Freidland said they have crews from two fire departments standing by and an evacuation plan in place in case it’s needed.

“It’s estimated in danger might be 40, 50, 60 (homes),” he said. “There’s a lot of canals, several canals, and the water comes up in the canals into the yards.”

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A Flood Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for some of St. Clair County, with forecasters also warning of possible flooding in Port Huron, the city of St. Clair, Algonac, Marine City, Harsens Island and
Pearl Beach.

Meanwhile, a ferry connecting cities in the U.S. and Canada across the St. Clair River has been shut down indefinitely due to damage by an ice jam to its Canadian dock.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports owners of the Bluewater Ferry announced the closure Thursday and aren’t sure when the ferry connecting Marine City, Michigan, and Sombra, Ontario, will resume operations. Extensive structural damage is reported at the dock.

Rob Dalgety, who owns the ferry with his brother, says contractors planned to assess the damage Friday and determine what steps are needed next. He says traffic on the ferry is typically slow this time of year, though it’s used daily by workers crossing the border.

After rain and sleet came down early Friday, with snow now falling across Southeast Michigan, a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. for St. Clair, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe, Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties.

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