OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is watching the Grand River for potential ice jams as melting snow and ice threaten to increase water levels.
We’re told ice jams can form when solid ice is broken up by warming temperatures and rising water levels. That ice can then travel along the river until it is stopped by an obstacle such as a bridge or river bend, deputies say. That obstruction, in turn, can lead to rapid flooding.
The sheriff’s office advises residents who live near the Grand River to contemplate a quick and effective evacuation plan should the need arise due to ice jams. Residents are also encouraged to raise all grounded valuables to a higher level.
Deputies also recommend preparing a “go bag” containing essentials such as clothing, medication and chargers for mobile devices.
If a flooding event does take place, Ottawa County deputies ask residents to refrain from walking into flooded rooms where wires, outlets or electric appliances are present.
The sheriff’s office also advises against walking across ice on rivers and streams, as doing so can be extremely dangerous.