KENT COUNTY, Mich.– All around West Michigan you can spot flooding, houses are submerged and roads are blocked off. Over the weekend the Grand River flooding in Comstock Park was upgraded from minor to moderate, rising nearly a foot in just one day.
Sunday Fox17 went out to some of the hardest hit areas along the river in Kent County to see how those living there are getting by. They say it’s all about being resourceful and prepared, even if that means using a kayak instead of a car to get around.
Bruce and Rebecca Ling have lived along the river in Comstock Park for 20 years now and say they have a routine when this happens. Everything gets picked up from the yard and garage and put up high, firewood is stacked on the porch and the boats are tied off.
Even just getting to work for Rebecca Ling in the morning will be tougher, “I have to get up early, get dressed for work tuck everything in and put on my hip waders and walk out to my car which takes a while.”
Like many folks who live nearby they park their car down the road where things are dry, “I have to make a list because once you go out your out and once you’re in you’re in, so I check if we need groceries or water.”
The Ling’s say they haven’t seen it as high as it is now in about four years. One of the worst years though, back in 2004 when they had to use their 16 ft. fishing boat to get around.
Mike Arsulowicz who lives down the way in Belmont agrees and after living there for more than 25 years he’s got a plan too. “Year after year you better start learning. You know that if you’re down by the river that`s part of the game, that`s all.”
Arsulowicz says the good thing about all of this, everyone comes out to help each other. “If someone needs something, someone is going to the store or the water is really rising and we have to move something, we do.” Ling says despite the flooding there are benefits to living there, “the nature, the wildlife, there’s a sense of community down here.”
The river should eventually start falling below flood stage early Thursday morning. But with more rain possible in the coming days flooding concerns will continue to be an issue over the next week or so or until levels can fall below flood stage and stay there.