Michigan county chiefs warn of Grand River flooding and ice jams
The Grand River is just above flood stage at Comstock Park, and river levels are expected to drop from Saturday.
MICHIGAN, United States – Those living along the Grand River in Kent and Ottawa counties are warned tonight to watch out for flooding and ice jams over the next few days.
Emergency management officials in Kent and Ottawa counties say the floods primarily affect those who normally experience them.
“Some of the streets right now, in Plainfield Township in particular, (the water levels) are so high that vehicles probably won’t be able to access all the homes in the area for much longer,” the coordinator said. of Kent County Emergency Management, Matt Grosser.
The Grand River is just above flood stage at this time.
“And unfortunately today we got a little bit of bad news from the weather service, they are expecting more rain over the next few days,” he said.
Ice jams on the Grand River
With about a half inch of rain on the way, County Chiefs have a bird’s eye view of the Grand River. They look for weak spots in the ice, where patches or chunks of ice can break off and get stuck blocking the flow of the river.
“There’s just a tremendous amount of water pushing against this ice jam. And, you know, there’s one thing we know about water is that it’s going to go anywhere it can go. “, Groesser said. “He’s going to go where he wants to go.”
Although Kent County has yet to experience any ice jams, that is a different story in Ottawa County.
“We don’t really need to add more fluid to the entire system at this time,” said Louis Hunt, Ottawa County Emergency Management Director. “We developed an ice jam near Robinson Township on Saturday.”
RELATED: NWS issues flood warning for Robinson Twp. because of the jam
It has since moved a little west to Connor Bayou.
“What we see of broken ice is that it’s got a significant thickness. So the ice that’s breaking, there’s a huge force behind it. And that ice is four and five inches thick.” , he said.
As for its trajectory, it is difficult to say for the National Weather Service and the Ottawa County Emergency Management.
“And they’re not even able to predict how it might work out, because each ice jam is a bit individual and unpredictable,” Hunt said.
The Grand River is expected to drop starting Saturday, and county leaders say it will be a slow process. This means it’s important to have an emergency plan and supplies if you drive or live near the river, if you encounter flooding remember to seek higher ground.
Authorities encourage drivers to turn around, don’t drown.
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