Flood risk for West Michigan rivers raising concerns

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Sixteen rivers are under flood warnings, including the Grand River, which the National Weather Service is forecasting will crest near 20 feet in Grand Rapids.

Meteorologist Nathan Jeruzal with the NWS says one to five inches of widespread rain will fall over the entire Midwest as moisture continues building from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of West Michigan can expect to see one to three inches of rain.

Robinson Township, Comstock Park, and Grand Rapids are expected to see some of the worst flooding.

“Rain is going to fall all along the river basin, some places might see four inches of rain by Wednesday morning,” Jeruzal said.

In addition to the rain, snow and ice-melt will add to the problem, raising parts of the Grand River roughly 15 feet. The NWS of Grand Rapids is forecasting minor to moderate flooding for most parts of the area, although some models are calling for possible major flooding.

“Even though the rain won’t stop until this Wednesday, that river, all the water from upstream towards Jackson, Lansing, won’t reach a max until this weekend in Grand Rapids,” Jeruzal said.

In comparison to past years, the coming flood in Grand Rapids is expected to be about two feet lower than the flood in 2013, yet comparable to levels back in 1985. ​​

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