Grandville Businesses Get Creative To Tackle Flooding

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-22 20:51:39-04

Flood waters may have been receding slowly in Grandville Monday, but the flood levels are still high for many businesses and homeowners.

At Harlo Productions in Grandville, employees couldn’t get to work because 48 inches of water surrounded the building.

The company typically produces about five to six hi-lo forklifts a week.

A handful of workers from the company got together to build a wooden foot bridge out of scraps of material they had at the business in order to walk over the water.

“We’re making a make-shift bridge to get to work tomorrow,” said Harry Rogers, Harlo employee.”We have picnic tables. We have gondolas. We have skids. We have plywood and a lot of good old American ingenuity,” said Jim Courtright, Facilities Manager, Harlo Products.Down the street at Reitsma Auto Sales, the employees were poking fun at the flood waters that had taken over one portion of their business.Their sign read, “Yes we are open, float on in for a great deal.”We followed owner Steve VanAllen on a tour through the flooded storage area of the sales building.

There was at least six inches of water in the storage garage.

In the sales office, there was about an inch of water circling desks and office chairs there.

VanAllen explained how fast the waters rose on Buck Creek Thursday, rushing into the building.

“It actually came so fast we were caught not prepared,” said VanAllen. “The desks, they’re just metal, they can take a little water.  They were warning us, but you think it’s not going to get that deep.”

Homes in Grandville were also flooded, Ruth Sherman said the water came so fast, neighbors and school-aged kids rushed in last week to help them move their stuff out of the garage and basement.
Still, it was too late for some items that you can see still floating through their basement windows.

Sherman said she was most grateful for the help of the community during the worst part of the flood.