ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - An ice jam is causing a threat of minor flooding in Ottawa County.
A Flood Warning is in effect along the Grand River in Robinson Township because of the ice jam near the U.S. 31 drawbridge in Grand Haven, according to the National Weather Service.
The river level rose from 11.9 feet Monday morning to 12.2 feet by mid-afternoon. The level had risen to 12.5 by the evening, and that is when the warning was issued.
By Tuesday evening, the level had risen beyond the flood stage of 13.3 feet to 14.2 feet. The National Weather Service and Ottawa County officials continue to monitor river levels, which they expect to crest between Tuesday and Wednesday at about one foot above flood level.
On Tuesday, water surrounded more than a dozen homes because of an ice barricade miles away. That's forced residents like John Potter -- who's lived in the house he's called home for about 60 years -- to leave.
"I've never had water in the house yet, but there's always a first time," he told 24 Hour News 8. "You never know. If it does, it does. I ain't leaving (for good.)"
But Mary Palazzolo isn't leaving her Robinson Township home -- and she has peace of mind.
"I'm not worried about it at all," she said.
Six and a half feet of foundation gives her confidence against the rising Grand River. The 2005 ice jam brought 30 inches of water into Palazzolo's home, which she rebuilt and raised higher than the 100-year-historic level.
"I'm not worried about ever my home getting flooded again," Palazzolo said.
At this time, the ice seems to be filling in downstream while river levels upstream are falling, according to a news release from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management. This could have a positive effect on the situation, stabilizing the affected area. When the flooding in this area happened before, river levels upstream were rising -- the opposite of what is occurring right now.
If residents along the river experience flooding issues, they are requested to call their local jurisdiction (town hall) to report the situation. If there is an immediate threat for life safety, then they should call 911.
The Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management is in contact with township and city officials, keeping an eye on the levels.
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