Parts of Newaygo, Muskegon counties hammered by rain, runoff

Muskegon County

BROHMAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Despite living near the water, Joya Craighead never dreamed a portion of her Moonbeam Lake dream home would end up underwater.

“It came up under the floor and at the walls, the floor is wet as you can see,” said Craighead as she pointed to the water-soaked carpet in her home of 15 years. “And it was a lake. I mean, the water was up to my ankles in this room.”

But it wasn’t Moonbeam Lake, just steps from Craighead’s front door, that flooded her home around noon on Thursday; it was runoff from the melting snowpack and rain that caused water to gush down her driveway and through the backdoor of her home in Brohman.

Most of her neighbors were spared.

“Me being on the lowest point, I got it all. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Craighead as she walked into another room. “This floor, it’s supposed to be a floating floor, and it really was floating.”

Craighead said tile had come off the floor and was floating in the floodwater.

“When you see a disaster getting ready to happen and you’re helpless because there’s nothing you can do, it’s Mother Nature, it’s a real scary feeling,” she said.

Craighead’s mess is just one example of what many Newaygo County residents are going through.

And if the flood waters don’t affect your home, they could affect your drive.

The rain washed over — or in some cases — washed out a number of roads. Maple Island north of 48th was closed to traffic earlier in the day.

And the problems may not be over.

Both the Muskegon and White rivers, along with many lakes in the area are on the rise after being inundated with runoff from the snow pack.

Officials have declared a local state of emergency for Newaygo County, allowing officials to begin collecting data needed in case a similar declaration is requested from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“It’s a wait-and-see. We’ve communicated out to our residents to make sure that they’re aware of what to expect. What’s coming their way,” said Newaygo County Emergency Management Director Abby Watkins.

That was communicated even to those who aren’t normally prone to flooding.

In some areas, the Red Cross has been called in to help.

Residents and businesses with flood damage are being asked to file a report on the county’s website.

“And what that does is it goes directly to Emergency Services and we’re sharing that with the Red Cross and our service partners so we can compile the information and get help to these homeowners that so desperately need it,” Watkins said.

Joya Craighead said she’s not sure what’s next for her.

“I called the insurance company and they said water coming out from the outside coming in, I have no coverage. And I’m afraid with the black mold, because it came through the walls and the floor, I’ve got to do something,” she said.

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