Bluff erosion in Mt. Pleasant reaching critical point

Could damage utilities in the road
Posted at 10:46 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 23:46:07-04

Bluff erosion in Racine County along Lake Michigan is only getting worse and in the last week it may have reached a critical point.

A section of road at the end of Rosalind Avenue is now missing. That could mean the people living on it could soon be without utilities, or worse.

For 30 years, Antonius Vanputten has listened to the lake outside his home. But in the last year the lake is now threatening to destroy it.

"This last week that disappeared with the corner of the street there," Vanputten said.

The Village of Mt. Pleasant has known about the problem. There have been public hearings and surveys.  A state of emergency was declared by the governor.

Village President Jerry Garski said the Army Corps of Engineers has looked at permanent solutions but so far no money has been set aside. In the meantime that hasn't stopped Lake Michigan.

"This is new here," Garski said as he walked up Rosalind Avenue towards the lake.

The end of the road is now missing.

"The utilities are in the road," Garski said.

Garski said if nothing is done the utilities will be cut off to the homes at least on Rosalind Avenue, including Vanputten's.

Vanputten says he doesn't have the money to hold back the lake, the fix is more than $100,000 and his wife has cancer.

"Breast cancer and it's now in the bones. They said there is nothing they can do more," Vanputten said.

His hope is that she can be in the home she lived in for three decades in her final days. But that might only happen if the village starts reinforcing the bluff.

"Then the village will have to make their decision," Garski said.

The village president says he cannot help anymore come Friday. That's because he was voted out of a office and a new president will take over.


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