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Emergency crews rescue four from high water on Thornapple River

Posted at 10:21 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 22:37:40-04

BARRY COUNTY, Mich. — Thornapple Township Emergency Services is asking people to stay away from Thornapple River for a few days.

Wednesday evening, they rescued four people — two adults and two kids — from fast-moving water, said Chief Randy Eaton.

“We were called last evening around 5:30-ish, 5:40 with a report of four people that were trapped under the bridge — the Irving Bridge out by McCann Road — and they were unable to get to shore," said Chief Eaton during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday. "So, they were hung up on some branches and logs that were built up on the pillars underneath the bridge.”

Crews lowered life jackets and flotations devices to the group, which allowed them to float out from under the bridge and to a rope, he said. They then pulled themselves to shore.

“They had just gotten into the water,” Chief Eaton said. “They hadn’t went very far and realized that it was moving a whole lot faster than it looked like from shore.”

Chief Eaton said all the rain and showers from April led to high water levels on Thornapple River.

"The water doesn’t have a place to go," he said. "It’s not getting soaked into the ground. It’s just running off."

In a week, the water will recede, he said. However, until then he recommended people stay out of the water.

He said it’s too dangerous right now.

“I would just recommend that anytime the water starts going up it's a good time to stay out of the water,” he said. “They did not have personal flotation devices on and obviously we recommend that you wear that whenever you’re boating, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, whatever activity you’re doing in the river.”

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