Record rainfall in West Michigan caused mass flooding in the area last week, including the City of Cedar Springs.
Cedar Creek overflowed its banks Thursday morning, April 18. According to DPW Director Tom Stressman, they closed Main St. between Oak and Pine St. about 7 a.m. Water flowed across the intersection at Main and Pine as well. Fifth Street between Pine and Cherry was also closed, as was access to the White Pine Trail. The roads were reopened later in the evening after the water receded.
Stressman said that he has been here 24 years, and that was the first time he’s seen it flood. He said others told him the last time was 1987. (However, Grand Rapids had almost 12 inches of rain in 1986, so it could have been that year.)
Doug Durst said he remembers that. “We lived on Third Street across from the football field in 1987 when the flood came. I remember watching as 4 cord of my wood floated across 17 Mile. I also remember our neighbor, George Waite coming over in a canoe to check on us!”
The Cedar Springs Story also tells of a flood, in 1905 or 1906 that washed out the wooden bridge across Main Street, and the cement sidewalks. It was reportedly two to three feet deep, and people used rowboats to get up and down Main Street.
It wasn’t only the city that saw flooding last week. Area townships did, too. Ron Parker, of Courtland Township, sent us a photo of a portion of 15 Mile near Stout that crumbled where a culvert runs underneath. He said that normally you would see fields on either side of the road with just a small pool of water on the south side and a small trickle of water on the north side of the road. But that was not the case Friday—it was more like a fast flowing creek. He said that a portion of the road actually crumbled while he was standing there. This was the second time in the last few years that this has happened. The road remains closed.
Meanwhile, Kent County declared a state of Emergency. There was widespread flash flooding, and the Grand River flooded many areas in Grand Rapids, even causing evacuation of buildings and the closing of bridges. The Grand River in Grand Rapids crested at 21.85 feet, a new record.
If you have any memories of past floods and when they were, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.