Weekend rain causing flooding concerns

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — With the rainfall expected to continue throughout the weekend, Kalamazoo is preparing for potential flooding, especially near bodies of water.

Forest Street by Axtell Creek in Kalamazoo is barricaded, as the city expects more rain to increase water levels in the creek throughout the weekend.

The location is prone to flooding during heavy localized rainfall.

A parking lot on Forest Street was already flooded Friday night, and while other nearby roads don’t have signs of flooding right now, James Baker, the city’s public services director, knows things can change quickly.

“One of these overnight storms or one of these storms come up and really hit us with heavy local rain, we’ll be able to respond to that,” Baker said. ‘We’ve got sandbags in place, we’ve been preparing and placing sandbags at our Stockbridge locations for the community if we have one of those flood scenarios.”

While Baker expects areas near creeks to see flooding, he doesn’t expect the Kalamazoo River to reach official flood designation.

“We don’t anticipate at this point that we’d get into official flood designation, which would be above nine feet, but we’re prepared,” Baker said.

It’s currently about five feet above. Baker says it would take at least several days for areas by the river to flood following consistent rainfall.

Baker says he’s thankful rainfall this weekend won’t produce anything quite like the historic flooding from 2018. The event from three years ago is always a reminder for the city to be prepared for flooding.

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