WEST MICHIGAN - Recent rains of between five to seven inches in many areas have created ponding of water, washed out roadways, and a flow of water down the Grand River that has increased by some 900 percent! Below is a "hydrograph" from the National Weather Service that shows the stage of the river and the flow of water from last Wednesday June 23, through this week. It's incredible the amount of water flowing down the Grand River versus what it was just days ago.
Take a look at images from last week BEFORE the heavy rains occurred. Note how low the water levels are (only about two feet deep) with seaweed, rocks, trees, branches, and overall shallow water visible in downtown Grand Rapids. The flow at any given point was only two thousand cubic feet per second. All photos taken by Kevin Craig.
Now take a look at the "hydrograph" from the NWS showing the flow and level of the river. The level or stage has now increased to 12.2 feet and the flow is 12.6 thousand cubic feet per second. As of now, the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids is expected to crest Wednesday morning at around 16 feet...two feet under flood stage, but the flow will increase to about 20,000 cubic feet per second. That's an increase in flow of a whopping 900 percent in just one week. You can clearly see how the river has swelled over the past few days, despite the fact it will remain within its banks and create only minor issues as it snakes through Grand Rapids.
To look at other rivers in Michigan, their stage, flow, and when we expect them to crest, click here. It's an interactive map, so you can click into several rivers. More showers and storms are expected this week, but likely not as heavy as what we've already seen. It's hard to believe our area was in a severe drought just last week, and now this week looking at flooding concerns. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.