How high West Michigan rivers rose in flood

Bill Steffen -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- The Grand River crested in Grand Rapids and Comstock Park Sunday afternoon.

The river level in Grand Rapids peaked at 20.67 feet, more than a foot below the 21.9 foot reading reached during the flood of April 2013. The river will continue to fall, reaching the 18-foot flood stage level on Wednesday.

On Sunday evening, the volume of water coming through Grand Rapids was nearly six times the average volume for late February.

In Comstock Park, the Grand River reached a level of 16.85 feet, nearly 5 feet above the flood stage of 12 feet. This was about 1 foot below the record level of 17.8 feet, also set during the flood of 2013.

It may take until Friday or Saturday (depending on Thursday's rain) to get the river down below flood stage. Water is still covering part of the fairgrounds at both Lowell and Ionia.

In Caledonia, the Thornapple River has fallen about one foot from a peak of 11.79 feet that occurred Friday evening. This has eased pressure on the LaBarge Dam at 84th Street.

>>Inside River conditions | Bill's Blog

The crest of the river reached Jenison Sunday evening. However, smaller rivers in Ottawa County have receded quite a bit and the level in Ottawa County isn't expected to rise more than an inch (if that) before starting to fall. At Robinson Township, the river Sunday evening was at 15.75 feet, about 2.5 feet above the flood stage of 13.3 feet.

The Kalamazoo River has crested along its entire length. At Comstock, a record level of 11.69 feet was reached late Saturday. That was about 8 inches higher than the previous record flood of April 1947. At New Richmond in Allegan County, the river has already fallen a little over a foot from the highest level of 18.16 feet, about 14 inches above flood stage.

>>Inside Flood photos | Complete flood coverage

The St. Joseph River at Three Rivers climbed to 4.1 feet above flood stage. It has now fallen about 4 inches and will continue to fall through the week.

While West Michigan had heavy rain, much of the Upper Peninsula saw heavy snow. Painesdale, southwest of Houghton, reported over 4 feet of snow on the ground. Hancock and Grand Marais had over 3 feet of snow cover.

The high runoff will continue add to the high water levels of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are both 19 inches above the February average level. Lake Superior is 12 inches above the February average and that is only 2 inches from the record February level reached in 1986.

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