Kzoo flooding swamps cars, frustrates drivers

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Flooded and washed-out roadways made travel more difficult for people in Kalamazoo Thursday.

Road crews put up barricades across the area but some drivers ignored the signs. 24 Hour News 8 found people pushing a car out of the water on East Vine Street. Several other vehicles were abandoned.

Kalamazoo County Emergency Management Director Mike Corfman says keeping up with Mother Nature has been a challenge.

“Actually, we started running out of barricades so we’re just putting up the traffic cones,” he said.

He said Kalamazoo is now borrowing barricades from a neighboring county.

Even county officials were surprised at how quickly the water rose.

“It looked like it wasn’t going to come up that much but it took a big jump,” Corfman said.

>>Inside Road closures in Kalamazoo

Drivers in Comstock Township had to avoid a portion of East Michigan Avenue near Sprinkle Road after the edge of the roadway collapsed.

Driver Rachel Kemp was trying to get to a nearby business and says the road closures are frustrating.

“It is. Especially when you’ve trying to get to work and now all the sudden now the road is closed and you’ve got to figure out another way,” Kemp said.

  • Flooding damage on East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township
  • Flooding damage on East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township
  • Flooding damage on East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township
  • Flooding damage on East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township

>>App users: Photos of the flooding damage to E. Michigan Avenue

A Texas Township neighborhood already dealing with serious flooding saw the water getting closer to their homes. According to Jennifer Brown, the rain made the flooding situation along Crooked and Eagle lakes a lot worse in a very short amount of time.

“Now with the four inches of rain we had overnight, the water is up to our home, up to the window sill,” Brown said.

The family had to increase their efforts to block water from their home.

“A couple of the neighbors, my husband, my son and I have been out here filling sand bags, 200 sand bags, to kind of add to the berms,” Brown said.

The city of Kalamazoo said it could be 12 to 24 hours before all of its roads were back open.

Crews have set up self-service sandbag stations at the Washington Square Apartment Complex and the Edison Neighborhood Association.

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