NWS: Minor flooding expected after rain, snow

flooding, grand river
Minor flooding along the Grand River north of Grand Rapids. (April 5, 2017)


PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The National Weather Service says there could be some minor flooding as a storm system brings rain and snow to West Michigan.

Some areas in the Comstock Park area, north of Grand Rapids, have to deal with flooding every year. John Lapciuk lives in one of those areas.

“It’s something I have to contend with, but I got used to it,” he told 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday. “But when you told me it was coming up two feet, that startled me.”

He said that if the river rises more than expected, it could flood his basement.

“I got to roll up these temporary carpets, make sure they don’t get all wet,” he showed 24 Hour News 8 at his home on Willow Drive NE.

The worst situation he’s dealt with was in the spring of 2013, when the Grand River saw historic flooding. He said water filled his basement to the ceiling.

“Pure hell,” he remembered the 2013 flooding. “It came up into the garage, it came up into my breezeway. My basement was completely flooded.”

The NWS says what we’ll see after Thursday’s snow won’t be anywhere near that bad, but Lapciuk still has some worries.

“It’ll probably come up over my lawn and into my basement. That has me concerned,” he said.

The flooding in Comstock Park will reach about 13 feet over the weekend — about a foot above flood stage and still a foot short of moderate flooding. The record is 17.8 feet.

flooding, grand river
Minor flooding along the Grand River north of Grand Rapids. (April 5, 2017)

“It is looking like the road there along the river in Comstock Park, the Abrigador Trail, will be under water. There will be some homes potentially getting water up on the property,” NWS meteorologist Brandon Hoving showed 24 Hour News 8. “When you look at the flood of 2013, for example, the stage that they set is way up here closer to 18 feet and that’s when you completely flood homes out.”

>>Online: NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

In downtown Grand Rapids, the Grand River is expected to rise to about 16 feet — still a couple of feet short of flood stage. River levels in Robinson Township are expected to rise to nearly moderate flood level by Sunday.

“We are going to have some snow with this system and it will melt, so that is something to consider, but it hasn’t been a major player for us this spring,” Hoving said.

He said the only way the Grand Rapids area would see major flooding would be if it there was something like a domino effect with another storm following Thursday’s snow.

High river levels are a threat through May. At this point, NWS does not see any other systems bringing snow to West Michigan, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.

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