Rain drenches the Tri-Cities

The Lakeshore area was drenched by rain and thunderstorms Wednesday night and early today - causing localized flooding, some downed branches and spotty power outages. "Officially, up until midnight, it was 1.87 inches' in Grand Haven, WZZM-TV meteorologist Joe Kopecek said. Kopecek said more rain fell after midnight that would have increased this total, but he didn't have any official figures for it as of this morning.
Alex Doty
Jul 28, 2011

As a result of the rainfall, Kopecek said a flash flood watch has been issued for the area. According to the National Weather Service, the watch is in effect through Friday afternoon.

Kopecek said the reason the watch continues through Friday is because the same weather pattern is expected to continue.

“The computer models bring another slug of rain tonight,” he said.

As a result of the inclement weather, there was a mix of storm-related incidents scattered around the Tri-Cities on Wednesday and early this morning.
William Law, who lives at 101 Sherman Ave. in Grand Haven, said his Suzuki vehicle had a hole punched through the canvas top by a falling tree at about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“It woke me right up,” he said.

According to Law, there was no wind at the time the tree fell — which made it odd, he said — but the tree was rotting out.

“I’ll miss the shade, but I won’t miss the leaves in the fall,” Law added.

Gerry VanStratt, 111 Sherman, said she did not hear the tree come down, as she was in the back room of her home at the time.

“I’m still kind of in shock with this,” VanStratt said, adding that nobody was injured and none of the windows in her home were destroyed.

Ferrysburg Department of Public Works Director George Dunning said there was one call of “ponding” on Carmen Street in that city, but it was gone when he went to check on it.

“It was too much (rain) at one time,” he said.

Dunning said there was 3 inches of rain reported on the DPW garage’s rain gauge.

Spring Lake Public Works Supervisor Doug Whitley said there were a couple of calls Wednesday night regarding flooding, especially in the Liberty and Rex streets area, and the area around Franklin Street. After the rain subsided, the flooding went away, he said.

Whitley said flooding is “pretty typical” for the amount of rain that fell.

According to officials from the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power, power outages were spotty as a result of the inclement weather on Wednesday. The outages began shortly before noon Wednesday when about 625 customers lost power near West Spring Lake Road in Ferrysburg. Molyneux said this was a result of a tree branch falling on a primary service line along West Spring Lake Road.

“We don’t know if lightning hit the tree or wind blew it down,” Molyneux said.

This outage lasted about 45 minutes and customers were restored at about 12:30 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Molyneux said a group of 36 customers lost power near 156th Avenue and Mercury Drive in Grand Haven Township. At the same time, there was a group of 15 homes on Honeymoon Hill in the city that lost power due to lightning hitting a transformer near the homes.

At 3:30 a.m. today, there was a secondary fuse that blew due to a branch falling on a primary service line near Terry Trail in Grand Haven Township. It impacted 25 customers.

“Everyone should be back online,” Molyneux said of the reported outages.

Sewage overflows from Grand Rapids were reported at 10:25 p.m. and midnight Wednesday, and The Associated Press reported that more than 21,000 homes and businesses lost power in southern Michigan.

Tribune News Editor Becky Vargo, Tribune photographer Andy Loree and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

To see a more photos of the fallen trees in Grand Haven, click here.

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