Leon Hendrix -
BIG RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - As Fredda Hankes watched the ice jam behind her home Tuesday, she was reminded of the flood that destroyed her home in 2013.
"Oh dear, here we go again," she told 24 Hour News 8.
Hankes lives along the Muskegon River on 12 Mike Road in Big Rapids Township. Ice has jammed in that area, causing minor flooding. Emergency officials said Tuesday afternoon there had been no reports of major damage.
That was not the case in 2013. Hankes said water began rushing into her home one February afternoon that year, filling her basement in less than two hours. She and her ailing husband were forced to leave.
"When the water started coming in the basement windows, it just poured in," Hankes explained.
The damage was so severe that Hankes' home had to be demolished. She built another one on the same property but further away from the river.
Moving away from the water altogether was never on the table.
"Life changes, the river changes," Hankes said. "That's why I like living here. It's never a dull moment."
She's lived on her property since 1972 and has no plans to move.
"I don't want to live anyplace else," Hankes said.
While she's seen it happen many times in the past, Hankes still says watching the jam form is "fascinating."
"Earlier when the ice was coming in, there was screeching and moaning and groaning and ice popping up and flying," she described.
Hankes doesn't believe she's at risk of flooding but she's learned to be prepared just in case.
"I have emergency food rations," she said. "The river is never, never to be taken for granted."