Some Residents Voluntarily Evacuate Homes On The Grand River Due to Flooding

Posted at 11:18 PM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 06:50:23-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Homeowners and the National Weather Service are keeping a close eye on the Grand River.

More ice jams are causing flood waters to creep onto lawns and roads.

The NWS says the drawbridge at US-31 in Grand Haven is where the ice is blocking the flow of the river.

Folks in Robinson Township are experiencing the most extreme flooding. Residents there were having a tough time getting around flooded roads Tuesday.

On Van Lopik Avenue, the water was at least two feet deep over the road.

Neighbors like Steve Morris were planning on taking one of the residents who chose to evacuate to a relative’s home. “When nature turns its worst we try to help each other out,” said Morris.

Morris’ house sits on higher ground. “It has dropped a fraction,” he said, looking at the river that was spilling into his garden.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the water was still rising in the marshy area south of the road. It was creating a frozen slush on top, and ice was forming beneath the surface.

The Grand River was also creeping in to the north, creating an icy, dirty moat around a number of homes.

“It’s not the end of the world at the moment, but another three feet might question what we have to do,” said Steve Morris.

Alan Zurkewich also keeping a wary eye on his portion of the river. “When I got up this morning, it just kept coming higher and higher,” he said..

Seven years ago, the water there hit 18 feet.

“I think at 2005, the water level was here, so we’ve got another five feet of concern,” said Morris.

“There’s a saying, ‘never going to happen again’. It probably will,” said Zurkewich.

Zurkewich would like to move his house back from the water and see dredging on the river again, which has stopped in recent years.

Zurkewich said people will always face flooding. “People want to live here on the river. Beautiful in the summer.”

Because of that beauty, Morris has a practical plan for when the waters come knocking. “Just dry it off. Fix the drywall and move back in,” said Morris.