Rising River Levels Prompt Evacuations in Newaygo Co.

NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. (April 14, 2014) — Dozens of people who live along the Muskegon River in Newaygo County evacuated Monday due to rising river levels.

Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins said they are predicting river levels to rise above 13 feet in some areas.

Monday morning they began going door to door to residents who live below the Croton Dam to inform them to evacuate. Watkins estimates more than 200 homes could be impacted, but says the dams are working as they are designed to.

But as Mother Nature stirs up its latest damage, some homeowners are taking no chances. Chris McAllister even rented a U-Haul to clear everything out of his house.

 “Last year was kind of a wakeup call. It was like a foot away from getting in our house,” he said.

At 9:45 a.m. Monday morning the river was already at 11.7 feet, which is higher than last year when it crested at 11.1 feet. The National Weather service says by Tuesday morning levels will reach 12.9 feet.

Brenda Payton who lives near Maple Island in Bridgeton Township put everything up to a higher level in her house Monday. She says last year they had 6 to 8 inches of water throughout the house and can’t imagine what she could come home to later this week.

The river is expected to crest Monday morning but Newaygo County officials say the flood threat will continue into next week as more rain is expected.

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