GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Floodwaters are expected to continue rising, prompting “road closed” signs on flooded streets, warning people not to drive on them.

First responders are trying to avoid water rescues when vehicles get too close to rivers. That’s what happened Tuesday and Wednesday in Grandville and Ada areas.

Officials say Wednesday’s driver got out of the water on his own, but the people inside a white truck had to be rescued Tuesday after they drove into 6 inches of water over the road on Indian Mounds in Grandville and got swept away.

“If you see a barricade with flooded waters behind it, it’s there for your safety. Please heed that warning and do not continue down that road,” said Matt Groesscher, the Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator.

On Thursday, the Kent County Road Commission said the following roads were closed due to water over the road:

  • Konkle Drive off Jupiter Avenue
  • Reeds Lake Ave from East Beltline to Manhattan
  • Reeds Lake Ave from East Beltline to Hall St
  • River Point at Indian
  • Forest Ridge and Coit
  • Willow Dr between Bailey Park and Purchase
  • Ashley South of M-44 to 7 Mile Rd
  • Canright from Briggs to Willow
  • 4 Mile Rd from Briggs to Willow
  • Abridgador Trail from West River Dr to West River Center
  • St Lawrence at West River
  • Karcher at West River
  • Konkle from Karcher to St. Lawrence
  • Cherry Valley Ave from 76th St to 84th St 52nd St east of Kraft Ave

First responders say underestimating the flow of a flowing river can be extremely dangerous.

“Water is moving faster, they feel it’s a little more exciting and over the years we’ve experienced and had to rescue even some very experienced kayakers and canoers,” said David Noorman, a battalion chief with the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

GRFD said keeping your distance can save lives.

“We won’t go within 10 feet without having a PFD, personal flotation device on, but we advise people to stay even further back than that,” said Andrew Nowak, a captain at GRFD’s Bridge Street station.

“When the river gets really high, our boats can’t fit under those bridges anymore, so it affects us getting out there to make a rescue,” said Chief Noorman.

It’s not just the power of the water, but what’s in the water can be dangerous.

“A lot of debris washing down from upstream, whether that be boats, trees, tree limbs,” said Noorman.

Officials warn to stay out of the water altogether.

“Recreation is highly discouraged at this time. Some communities actually have cost recovery programs where if they have to go and rescue you, you can be billed for that. People need to understand that when you take a chance with your own life, you may be taking the chance with some of our public safety partners as well and there can be financial consequences for that,” said Groesscher.

Officials say it’s almost impossible to determine how deep water is when it covers the road, so they warn drivers to turn around, don’t drown.