Floods in Kalamazoo, Calhoun counties damage homes and close streets

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Last night’s heavy rains didn’t affect Eddie Groves too much. He was in town, heading to an appointment in Battle Creek, and saw a pool of water in front of him on Crosstown Parkway. He figured the best way to get through it was to keep on driving.

“I thought if I slowed down, go slow, I'd make it,” said Groves, a veteran suffering from PTSD. “I got halfway through and she died.”

Groves car was stuck in eight inches of water. He was stranded. All the rainfall overnight caused several major streets in the area to flood, forcing the city to block off those roads. Crosstown Parkway and Park streets, around the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety especially, were a few of them.

“It’s pretty bad,” said Phill Miller of Gordon Water on Crosstown Parkway. “It’s pretty bad. A few years ago we had it clear up to the door. We had to caulk the door shut to keep it from coming in.”

This morning the parking lots surrounding the business were covered in knee-high water. Few cars drove through the lots creating waves in the water. He said it's illegal for vehicles to do that and they can be ticketed by the police as waves can cause more damage. So they used one of their vans to block people from coming down the street. But the water was slowing down business.

“It makes it very difficult for a client to come in to pick up, bottled water and salt,” said Miller. “You can see one of our trucks sitting right here in fact, we can’t go anywhere. We just got to sit here”

Battle Creek experienced the same heavy rains and flooding.

“Frequently when it rains you can hear water in the ventilation system,” said Patrick Barnett about his friend’s apartment at The Arbors of Battle Creek. “Like the air conditioner kicks on and you can hear it fluttering and stuff like that.”

Barnett said his friend called him around 1:30 this morning to help him move things around. The water started to come in at that time. Within an hour, there was three inches of water throughout the place. They even spotted what looked like tadpoles swimming around.

“You can see the bugs that are, or whatever they are, we thought they were minnows,” said Barnett. “You can see them in the air vent.”

ServiceMaster said their crews have been working all day.  There’s been a high volume of calls and they've dispatched crews to many homes between Indiana and nearby Hastings, helping as many people as possible clean up the damage.

“Well, we need the rain,” said Miller. “Just not in this quantity.”

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