Rivers rise as spring melt continues this weekend

Posted at 10:44 AM, Mar 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 10:44:47-04

WEST MICHIGAN — The annual spring melt is causing rivers, lakes and streams around West Michigan to fill and could cause problems as early as this weekend.

In anticipation of warm temperatures this weekend the National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for part of the Grand River in Ionia as snowpack around the area melts.

Warm temperatures this last week have done a good job decreasing the snowpack across the area and with temperatures staying in the 40’s and 50’s this weekend, it is quite possible that the existing snow will soon be gone.

While the spring melt occurs every year, this year the rivers will be monitored closely as a quick warm-up at the beginning of March did little to melt large ice coverage on area lakes and rivers. Rivers and lakes that still have a decent amount of ice could pose a flooding risk as run-off from melted snow fills rivers to their banks.

Grand River at Ionia

Grand River at Ionia

The Grand River at Ionia has reached advisory criteria, prompting Hydrologists at the National Weather Service to issue an advisory. The river is expected to crest Sunday afternoon at 17.1 feet. This level means the river is at bankfull but still shy of flood stage. Levels at 17 feet in Ionia will not pose any problems with flooding but will stretch the river to its farthest boundaries.

Grand River at Comstock Park

Grand River at Comstock Park

As this crest moves downstream towards Comstock Park, it will encounter areas of ice and will be closely monitored at the beginning of next week for ice jams.

While we are not expecting any significant flooding concerns, we will continue to monitor rising river levels during this spring-time melt and will bring you updates throughout the week.