Muskegon River Basin Residents Encouraged to Evacuate

MUSKEGON, Mich. (April 15, 2014) — Flood waters have affected people living in the Muskegon River Basin.

On Monday, river levels were just barely reaching homes in Muskegon County.  A day later, most of the houses near the Muskegon River on Maple Island Road are under water.

The road remained closed Tuesday night about a mile and a half back from the river.  We were given a ride down to the water’s edge by Muskegon County Undersheriff Dan Stout.

“You can see the road is completely gone,” he said. “Just like a lake.”

About 100 people in total were encouraged to evacuate the area.

“We still have another 24 to 48 hours where the river is going to go up,” Stout said.  “A very dangerous situation, not to be taken lightly.”

People chose to stay despite the water surrounding or flooding their homes, including the Bayne family, whose street bears their name.

“He’s got cattle and he’s got hogs he has to take care of,” Stout said of one member of the Bayne family.  “I can see where he is coming from plus he has lived here for generations and like he said, it happens every year.”

Undersheriff Stout was touring the area to determine what the best course of action would be.

“I know it’s a hardship if we turn off the electricity down here, because some of the people have their houses built up higher. But we have to look at the safety for everybody,” he said.

In the end it was decided that power would only be turned off for those who evacuated and asked that the power be turned off.

“We are trying to do the best we can for people but again, this is a flood plain and when you build on a flood plain it floods,” said Stout.

Stout said if the Croton Dam was to fail they would have a four to six-hour window to notify as many people as they could to evacuate.

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