WEST MICHIGAN – It’s been a long time coming, but only two FLOOD ADVISORIES remain in effect across central/west Michigan. The attached photo is a “snapshot” from our FOX 17 ALERT system Sunday afternoon.
Both Ionia and Clinton Counties are under the flood advisories until river levels fall a bit more. While Clinton County covers more of the Lansing area and is just outside our FOX 17 viewing area, the Grand River in Ionia County is still high. The current stage is 15.2 feet, bank full is 13.5 feet, and flood stage is 21 feet. The river is not expected to fall below bank full until Thursday afternoon.
There were some preliminary numbers tossed around at the National Weather Service media seminar in Grand Rapids this past weekend of about 30 million dollars in flood damage statewide. Here is a link to a study/press release from the United States Geological Survey addressing the recent flooding here in Michigan.
There was also some information and speculation that had West Michigan seen only another two inches of additional rain, we may have had some major issues in downtown GR. Here’s why…the Grand River was already hitting the CSX Railroad bridge downtown…officials actually parked a train filled with calcium chloride across the bridge to weigh it down. Water came within inches of hitting the tracks which was already beginning to act as a dam…forcing water to rise higher upstream. It was estimated that two more inches of rain across the basin would have magnified that problem and perhaps sent water racing in to downtown Grand Rapids as it spilled over the seawall. As hydrologists and meteorologists will never know for sure, what we do know is we came very close to possible catastrophic damage.
It appears as if the next few days will be dry here in West Michigan, with only a slight chance of a few isolated showers cropping up Wednesday due to a “lake breeze” convergence that sets up and on Thursday from a weak upper level disturbance sliding through the flow. Get the full FOX 17 forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.