TEXAS CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Blake Kovacs has lived in several states, but the West Michigan native always wanted to come back home.
“It was always my dream to live on the water close to my folks,” Kovacs said.
The dream seemed like a disaster when he first moved into his home on Eagle Lake in Texas Township a few years ago.
“No one knew it was going to get that bad,” Kovacs said.
Water levels at the lake and at a couple of nearby ones, Crooked Lake and Pine Island Lake, rose.
Homeowners began to prepare for the damage. Some brought in sandbags and others put up pumps.
Kovacs took a different approach.
“(I went to) big box stores and bought masonry blocks, and came in with heavy artillery crushed concrete, another layer block, crushed concrete,” Kovacs said.
He built what eventually turned out to be a deck to fend off the water from his home.
“You can see this top block here, which is about two inches, that’s about as high as it got,” Kovacs said. “When the waves kicked in, water would be going on my deck, and it would wrap around my house on both sides as well.”
Other people living on the lakes weren’t so fortunate. One resident we spoke to at Crooked Lake had his basement flooded. Other homes suffered so much damage they were torn down.
“I had six inches to go before it got my walkout basement,” said Jim Roberts, president of the Crooked Lakes Texas Association. “So, there were sleepless nights when it was at its peak.”
The lakes are still being pumped. Pumping though, is seen as a short-term solution. There’s a long-term plan in the works.
“We want to accomplish that by having a permanent gravity flow solution, which the township and township engineers worked out,” Roberts said.
In the meantime, people like Kovacs, who haven’t been able to enjoy Eagle Lake to its fullest for the past three years because it’s been designated a no wake zone, are envisioning a great summer out on the water.
“Most people on the lake, Memorial Day is the weekend to get the boat in,” Kovacs said