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Flooding causes major damage at Cass County cemetery

Several Cass County families are trying are trying to bring peace back to their family member’s final resting places. The relentless heavy rain there caused some of the tombstones and graves to actually come out of the ground.

Family members stopped by Bethel Cemetery throughout the day Sunday to check on the site of their loved ones who have passed away. Some walked away relieved while others, not so much.

“I mean this is something you never see in your life,” said James Craig who lives just feet from Bethel Cemetery.

Many parts of Cassopolis saw major flood damage after three days of heavy rain but nothing compared to the remains at Bethel Cemetery.

“I lived in this neighborhood all my life and I just come to see because I have a buddy up here who’s an old man that I knew when I was a kid,” said Craig.

Corners of that cemetery and some graves ripped right from their peaceful resting places.

James “I started walking down the creek and I come across the one casket right up front and three more down the stream there,” said Craig.

A few tombstones floated down stream with that flood. At the site, you can see the road aligned with the cemetery was what flooded causing the water to spill into part of the cemetery and into the nearest stream taking everything in its path with it.

“Being from such a small community where everybody knows everybody and were all considered somewhat family and we’ve got some large family names here from Cassopolis. Loved ones are so close it’s heartbreaking for them,” said Sheila Smith-Meese who grew up in the area as a child.

But neighbors say even Mother Nature couldn’t stop this community from coming together. “When things like this happen, again in a small community, it’s amazing how much we pull together to help one another out,” said Smith-Meese.

“I’m going to come here and just try to just help them out and try to get these people back to peace and… you know it was pretty crazy, that’s all I have to say is it’s pretty crazy,” said Craig.

ABC 57 News reached out to Calvin Township Officials to find out more about upcoming recovery and repair efforts but haven’t hear back yet. Neighbors tell ABC 57 News workers did spend several hours at the site laying down dirt to prevent any accidents in dangerous areas there. Stick with ABC 57 News as we continue to follow this developing story.


Credit: Roger Lawson 

Credit: Roger Lawson 

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