Coastal flood warning until 8 p.m.

A coastal flood warning is in effect for West Michigan's Lake Michigan shoreline, including Ottawa County, until 8 tonight. The National Weather Service said dangerously rapid changes in water levels are expected this afternoon, in response to the line of severe thunderstorms that crossed Lake Michigan this morning. Water levels will have large fluctuations through at least early this evening - most notably along all coastal beaches. Beach-goers should expect dangerous rip currents, too.
Mark Brooky
Jul 12, 2011


The flood warning includes the coastal areas in Ottawa, Allegan, Mason, Muskegon, Oceana and VanBuren counties.

Coastal residents in the warning area should be alert for rising water and take appropriate action to protect life and property, the weather bureau said.

Some areas have seen 1-2 inches of rain from this morning's storms, with additional rainfall expected this afternoon and evening. Runoff from this excessive rainfall will cause minor flooding to occur.

WZZM-TV reported trees and power lines fell throughout the southern parts of Ottawa, Kent and Allegan counties during this morning's storms. Much of downtown Holland was without power today as eight power poles were knocked down. Huge trees on the campus of Hope College also came down.   Winds up to about 80 mph were reported in Holland, where a police cruiser was hit by a fallen tree. The Associated Press reported the officer was not hurt.   A trained spotter for the National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 70 mph in Holland at around 10:30 a.m., while a storm chaser reported a gust of 80 mph.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department said a 38-year-old Cutlerville man was killed by the storm late this morning. WZZM-TV reported that the man, his wife and six kids were in a screened-in porch when the winds picked up. They moved from the porch to the house, but the man went through the garage when a tree hit the garage, killing the man.

An earlier storm led to the closing of U.S. 31 just south of the Colby Road exit at Whitehall, where wires came down, including on top of one car, according to WZZM-TV. The highway was reopened at about 10:15 a.m. 

There are numerous reports of trees down in the Whitehall area this morning and power outages reported throughout Muskegon County. Consumers Energy said more than 25,000 customers in West Michigan were without power, as of late morning.

The storms caused some scattered outages in the Spring Lake and Ferrysburg area.

At Lawton in VanBuren County, approximately 20-25 pine trees were blown down on one property, and a roof was blown off a ballfield dugout.

The forecast for the Grand Haven area tonight: A slight chance of showers before 8 pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. West wind at around 9 mph.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. North-northwest wind at 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.


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