City of Portland surveys ice jam damage


PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The Portland city manager hopes an aerial view of the ice jam currently causing flooding in the city will help determine where water may move to next.

Tutt Gorman rode in a Michigan State Police helicopter Saturday with the National Weather Service to survey the jam along the Grand River.

“We wanted to take advantage of [the flyover] to be able to make sure we’re doing all we can to be prepared for the next event,” Gorman told 24 Hour News 8. “It’s going to help us asses the damage as well as get a better look at the ice jam up river and down river as well.”

The ice jam caused evacuations and flooding Wednesday. More movement caused even more issues Friday, including shutting down two bridges and evacuating more people who live near the river.

The city reopened the Grand River Avenue bridge Saturday afternoon, but warned it could close again “at a moment’s notice”.

Gorman said it’s difficult to anticipate where the jam will move next or how it will thaw given fluctuating temperatures and persistent precipitation this last week.

“When [ice] breaks away it’s causing water to be pushed in other areas, taking the path of least resistance. So everyone really needs to be heightened state of alert and really closely monitor levels from their home or business,” he explained. 

Information gathered from the flyover will be used to continue monitoring efforts by the city.

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