GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The lack of rain could hurt West Michigan businesses that rely on the rivers.
"Right now, it's the lowest I've ever see it in the last 18 years. There's pretty much no water in there." said Mary Wiseman, the owner of AAA Canoe and Kayak Rentals located near the Rogue River in Rockford. "If we get less and less water, it's going to stop everybody from going out."
The U.S. Geological Survey measures river flow in cubic feet per second and usually the Rogue River flows at about 150 cubic feet per second, but the lack of rain has reduced the flow to less than 80.
The usual three hour tubing trip along the Rogue River is taking people four hours and three or four-person canoes can hardly make it with two passengers.
"We've never been on it when it's been this low," said kayaker Lindsey Lakanen. "We've been hitting rocks every five minutes. We're not going very fast."
Even on a short trip, kayakers found themselves having to get out of their kayaks and actually drag them in shallow areas.
"It's significantly low. Case in point. We have friends in a canoe back there, two of them and they had to get out a half dozen times at least now," said kayaker Nick Underwood.
The Grand River is also experiencing a much slower flow rate, along with carrying about half the amount of water it usually does this time of year.
The Grand normally flows at about 2,000 cubic feet per second; however, due to the dry weather that number has been cut in half. But that number still is above the record lows the Grand River faced back in the 1930's when it dropped as low as 381 cubic feet per second.
Other local areas that are facing low river levels include the White River in Muskegon County, the Muskegon River, and the Kalamazoo River.
So far, AAA Canoe in Rockford says the unusually shallow river hasn't hurt their business. But, the federal government says if the drought continues West Michigan could hit low water marks.
"We're still running. Everybody's still going out and having a good time, a little bruised bottoms, but it's all good," said Wiseman.
Vehicles occupied by a sheriff's deputy and a Michigan State Police motor carrier officer were hit.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.