Authorities warn of river dangers after storms

Michigan State Police marine services evacuating residents in Midland County after recent heavy rains and storms. (Courtesy Michigan State Police Bay Region)

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Authorities are asking people to stay off rivers that are above flood stage after intense storms.

The warning comes after four people had to be rescued from the Muskegon River in Newaygo County on Saturday. Authorities say high-water levels and swift waters are creating dangerous currents, which can be deadly for people on the river and rescuers.

Officials say the Muskegon River started to recede Saturday and is expected to below flood stage in a few days.

State police posted photos Saturday of a marine services team helping families evacuate in boats in Midland County. The National Weather Service says the Tittabawassee River should go below flood stage by Monday.

>>Bill’s Blog: Major flooding in Isabella, Midland, Gladwin counties

Flooding near the intersection of Loomis Road and Broadway Road. (Isabella County Road Commission/Facebook)

The Chippewa River could stay above flood stage until Tuesday. The Saginaw River is also affected.

Lt. Gov. Brain Calley declared disasters in Midland and Isabella counties on Friday, a step that makes state aid available in the recovery efforts. Hundreds of homes, businesses and other structures have been affected.

Mount Pleasant High School is serving as a shelter. Isabella County Road Commission manager Tony Casali described Blanchard Road as a “major blowout.”