Kzoo grandmother “scared to death” storms could cause more floods

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — After Jeanne Kendall dropped her grandson off at school Monday morning, she walked up and down Willow Boulevard, in her pajamas, looking at all the water. She’d been doing this, twice a day, since the storms started on Saturday.

“We’re definitely probably going to get flooded again,” she said. “If you stand here you can literally watch it coming up into the ground.”

Jeanne stared at the large puddle for a few minutes before going closer to the culvert. She's been living in the Lakewood neighborhood for almost a decade, she said, and it’s always flooded. However since a culvert was created a few years ago, the flooding has gotten significantly worse she said.

“I’m scared to death right now,” Jeanne said. “Right now I am terrified. If it rises and keeps rising we’re going to get hit again.”

Back in late February, the Kalamazoo river rose to record levels causing some of the worst floods in the city’s history. Downtown was shut down. Several roads around Bronson Hospital were closed. Businesses along Crosstown Parkway and Burdick Street were flooded and closed shop for a few days.

“We had 5 feet of water in this house downstairs and then 6 inches upstairs,” Jeanne remembered about the flood. “It was 11-feet deep on the outside of my home and I’m scared to death of losing everything all over again.”

Jeanne said thanks to a GoFundMe page she spent $4,000 repairing all the damage in her home — the flooring, drywalls and carpet. She still needs new cabinets but was grateful for the help considering she’s on disability and only gets $700 a month. She’s hoping the city or county will step in to help them now before things get worse later this week with more storms coming.

“I don’t want to have to go swimming again,” she said. “I think the water’s a little warmer now than it was back in February. But, it just not something I want to do again. God help us. God helps us.”

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