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Tag Archive | "flooding"

Flooding across West Michigan


 

 

Cedar Creek has flooded behind the Cedar Springs Library. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek rises; roads closed due to standing water

By Judy Reed

Rain and ice melt caused swollen creeks and rivers across West Michigan to begin to overflow their banks this week, as well as cause pooling of water in low lying areas.

Cedar Creek in Cedar Springs flooded behind the fire station and library Tuesday, and the creek was full at Veteran’s Park (at Oak and Main). There was standing water north of the park and in North Park. It was also high at Fifth and Cherry Streets. Water did flow over the road for a time at the intersection of Main and Pine Street. Many roads in the outlying areas were closed due to water over the road.

The Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) is updating information on road closures regularly on its website (www.kentcountyroads.net/alert) as well as social media accounts. “KCRC crews continue to investigate standing water and flooded areas and are placing barricades and flashers where necessary. We are assessing roads and are closing/opening them as conditions warrant. Motorists are asked to slow down and heed warnings and closures,” said Steve Warren, Managing Director of the Road Commission. “Today, our crews will continue clearing catch basins, cleaning spillways, repairing washouts and patching potholes. In these conditions, heavy grading equipment would worsen conditions on gravel roads. Therefore, crews will grade gravel roads when dryer conditions allow.”

Cedar Creek at Veterans Park, at Oak and Main Street, on Feb. 20, 10 a.m. Post photo by J. Reed.

Other parts of the county are seeing a lot of standing water as well. Kent County Emergency Management said that they, along with numerous agencies, continue to monitor and respond to flooding emergencies being seen throughout the area. They noted that floodwaters are having a dramatic impact on transit and housing. The waters will likely continue to rise through Saturday, causing many additional concerns for businesses and residents.

“The Sheriff’s Office and I are working closely with the National Weather Service, State and County agencies, the City of Grand Rapids, other impacted communities, as well as American Red Cross and Salvation Army,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Our primary goal is the safety and well-being of our residents and first responders. While the levels are not expected to be as high as they were in 2013, we still need to be as diligent in our response.”

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for a multitude of counties, including Kent County until 1 p.m. Thursday. The rain stopped early Wednesday.

“Our Emergency Operations staff will continue monitor the situation throughout the week,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Water just at the bottom of the bridge over Cedar Creek at Main and Oak Street, at 10 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2018. Post photo by J. Reed.

If you have water in your home/basement, it could be contaminated with E coli. Handle items that come in contact with flood waters with care, either by disposing of wet items or when possible, cleaning wet items with a disinfectant. 

Stewart says there are a few items to keep in mind regarding flooding:

*Turn around, don’t drown. Just two feet of floodwaters can sweep away a car. If you see flood water in the road, or barricades/signs posted on roads, for your safety and that of first responders, please turn around and take a different route. 

*Do not try to walk or swim through flood waters. River and creek waters can move fast and carry debris that can be dangerous. Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock people off their feet. 

*Keep pets away from flood waters.

*Prepare in advance. If you live in an area prone to flooding, make sure personal identification items (i.e. passports and birth certificates) are protected. Back up computer files and keep them in a safe place or store them in a cloud-based service. 

*Stay tuned to alerts via TV, radio or weather apps for your phone. 

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Hurricane Harvey: how you can help


Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

By Judy Reed

Hurricane Harvey swept into Texas last weekend, and at least 25 people have died as the storm battered the southeast region of Texas and nearby Louisiana. Houston has been hit especially hard. Floodwaters have begun to recede, but thousands of people and pets have been left homeless in the storm’s wake. Some 18,000 people have been rescued from the flooding in SE Texas; at least 32,000 people are in shelters, with thousands more seeking to get in.

How can you help?

Hurricane Helping Hands: There are some people right here in Cedar Springs organizing relief for both humans and their pets. Friends Jamie Garcia, Melissa Lombard, and Tiffany Rop are asking for physical donations—not monetary—though gas cards would be accepted. Jamie will be driving some things down to Texas, and someone else has offered one or two semi tractor trailer to drive items down. There are many items needed such as flashlights, batteries, lanterns, socks, bandaids, trash bags, toilet paper, biodegradable wipes, rubber gloves, peanut butter, etc. Please see their Facebook page for the entire list. https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneHelpingHands/

Melissa posted on the Facebook page that there is also a big need for baby items—formula, diapers, wipes, etc. They are also putting together personal care packs and are in need of combs, razors, pads/tampons, tissues, toothbrushes, hair ties, etc. She is also making natural soap to go into the bags, so is looking for donations of lard, coconut oil, sunflower oil and olive oil, but would need those this week. Her goal is to make 100 pounds of soap.

The friends are also collecting items for pets that have been rescued.

The Post will have a drop box for donations, and other drop off points will be announced on their Facebook page. Please email them or send a message through their Facebook page for more information.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/ Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Workers with the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescue a horse in rising floodwaters.

Houston Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: The Houston SPCA is the lead nonprofit animal-related agency responsible for disaster rescue, recovery and relief efforts. You can donate online at http://www.houstonspca.org/.

UMCOR – The United Methodist Committee on Relief is currently working with disaster coordinators and early response teams in Louisiana and Texas to provide relief to the many people whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. They give you five things you can do at http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2017/august/0825umcorrespondstoharvey. One is to make relief kits. You can download the packing list and shipping label from their website. You can also donate online or by mail.

Save the children: This organization is delivering family-friendly relief supplies including cribs, strollers, changing tables, baby shampoo, diapers and baby-safe portable tubs. They are also setting up child-friendly spaces in shelters where kids can play and learn while parents manage their family’s emergency needs. Go to www.savethechildren.org to learn more and to donate.

American Red Cross: Visit the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org to donate.

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Use caution when driving in flooded areas 


As Isabella and Midland counties continue to manage flood conditions due to heavy rainfall last Thursday and Friday, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) would like to remind citizens to drive safely and adhere to all road closures due to flooded roads.

Flooding is one of Michigan’s most common hazards. According to the National Weather Service, more than half of flood-related fatalities involved driving. Flooding can weaken roads or cause them to wash out entirely, making driving through flooded areas dangerous.

“Flooding can cause serious hazards when driving,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “The safest option is to drive only on main roads and to stay off roads that are closed or barricaded. Driving through water-covered roads is never worth the risk.”

It is difficult to judge the depth of flood waters and only takes six inches of water to reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown when encountering a flooded road.

Other tips to stay safe while driving include:

  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Do not take shortcuts, stick to main roads and designated evacuation routes.
  • Remember that it takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle that includes food, water, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, emergency contact numbers and a help sign.
  • Avoid areas that are likely to flood, including dips, low spots and floodplains; always heed flood warnings and instructions from emergency officials.

For additional flood safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/miready.

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Cedar Creek floods roadways, yards


Cedar Creek overflowed into Main Street last Thursday, March 31. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek overflowed into Main Street last Thursday, March 31. Post photo by J. Reed.

This area, north of the Creek, flooded and sent water out on to Main Street. Post photo by J. Reed.

This area, north of the Creek, flooded and sent water out on to Main Street. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

An spring storm with heavy rainfall whipped through the area on Thursday, March 31, during mid-afternoon (about 3-4 p.m.) and a surge of water caused Cedar Creek to overflow her banks.

The water was high all along the creek, and a flood watch was out for the Rogue River. The storm surge sent the water into Main Street, just north of Oak Street, and areas of Fifth Street were flooded as well. Cars were lined up along Main Street, waiting to drive slowly through the affected area. The flooding had subsided by later that evening.

The last time Cedar Creek overflowed on to Main Street was in 2013. Prior to that it was the mid-1980s, so it’s a fairly rare occurrence. However, there was a flood in 1905 or 1906 in that same area 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.

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Newlyweds help flooding victims


Motorists help push stalled vehicles at Tidewater Drive and Virginia  Beach Boulevard in Norfolk on Monday, Sept. 8. Patrick French, of Cedar Springs, second from the left, married Erica (Placers) French earlier, and the two spent their afternoon helping motorists stalled in the floodwaters. (The’ N. Pham|The Virginian Pilot)

Motorists help push stalled vehicles at Tidewater Drive and Virginia Beach Boulevard in Norfolk on Monday, Sept. 8. Patrick French, of Cedar Springs, second from the left, married Erica (Placers) French earlier, and the two spent their afternoon helping motorists stalled in the floodwaters. (The’ N. Pham|The Virginian Pilot)

A Cedar Springs man and his new wife helped out stranded motorists during flooding in Norfolk, Virginia earlier this week. And we mean really newly wed. Patrick French, a 2004 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, had just been married to bride Erica Placers a half hour on Monday, Sept. 8, when they began helping drivers whose cars had stalled during the flooding.

Patrick is the son of Laura DeLange, of Cedar Springs. “It’s so like them to help others,” she said.

The couple is stationed in Norfolk with the Navy.

Thank you to the Virginian-Pilot for sharing their photo with us!

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