Roughly 250 Homes Along Muskegon River Told To Evacuate Due To Flood In Newaygo Co.

Posted at 7:28 AM, Apr 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-15 07:28:54-04

GRANT, Mich. (April 14, 2014) – The water was creating rapids Monday night as it flowed over Felch Avenue in the Anderson Flats region.

On one side of the road was the Muskegon River, the other side was swamp but the two were combining to form one massive and rising body of water.

More than half a dozen homes could be seen under water already, part of the 250 or so that were told by the Emergency Management team to evacuate.

One homeowner took a gamble driving his SUV through the water to get what he could from his home. Kimberly Vanvalkenburg watched on in amazement at how fast the water rose.

“It just keeps going up hour by hour,” she said.

In her twenty years of coming to the Anderson Flats she admitted it was a scary sight. Other home owners tell us they’ve never seen the levels reach these heights before.

The torrential rains of the weekend pour the Croton Dam north of the area. Newaygo County Emergency Management said six of the eight gates are open but the water was still flowing over the dam like a waterfall on Monday. That prompted crews to go door-to-door telling people to evacuate. Vanvalkenburg got one such knock.

“Your home is here, your belongings are here,” she said. “Do you just pick up and leave? Or do you stick it out and wait and see?”

Further south down the river Terry Riggs prepares his father’s house for the worst.

“Watch the basement and hope for the best,” he said looking at his backyard. He has lived in the home for 40 years. “This is the first year that they told us to get out.”

According to the Emergency Manager the water isn’t supposed to go below flood stages for a week. The Red Cross has opened a shelter in the area for people who need assistance. It can be found at the Resonant Church at 302 E. 68th Street. If you would like to donate to the flood relief effort call 1-800-RED-CROSS1-800-RED-CROSS.