Rescuers help women, pets evacuate flooded homes

Flood water is encroaching homes and roads everywhere - not just in neighborhoods that abut rivers - and residents are urged to take precautions.
Cheryl Welch
Apr 18, 2013


Emergency personnel sent a boat out to the Limberlost Lane neighborhood at about 3 p.m. Thursday to help evacuate residents who became stranded there overnight and into today as the floodwaters continue to rise to nearly historic levels.

One of the women, Mary Palazzolo, 69, said she could no longer get out of her home. The last time Palazzolo had to be evacuated was in the January 2005 flood, which was the Grand River's historic crest of 18.3 feet. NOAA last measured the river at 15.15 feet, but expects a crest of 19.16 feet on Friday.

The Robinson Township Fire officials took the boat out into the murky floodwaters and brought back two women, a dog and a cat.

Roads throughout Ottawa County are swamped with the more than 6 inches that have fallen in the past two weeks, pushing swollen rivers, ditch and creek beds past their limits.

The following roads are water covered and should be avoided:

Grand Haven District        

104th South of Wilson

Taft North of 104th

Old 16 East of 112th (Camel Back Bridge)


Coopersville District

90th South of Leonard

26th & Winans (1/2 RD closed)

Johnson at 16th

Wilson West - 68th (culvert collapse)

24th Ave. under I-96

Linden Dr. –Old M-45

Coolidge between 24th & 16th


North Holland District

72nd at Business Loop 196 Pending Closure

Ottawa Beach Rd. by Ottawa Beach Inn

Business Loop I-96 at 100th Turnback (wet)

84th South of Adams

Felch between 72nd & 80th

104th South of Adams to Mason

City of Zeeland – 104th by Chicago Dr. & M-121

120th South of Riley

US 31 at New Holland

112th & Lakewood

76th & Bingham

Adams & 80th


Hudsonville District

M-121 at 48th

48th North of New Holland

12th North of Taylor

28th between Baldwin & Bauer

Quincy between 8th & Kenowa (pending closure)

Baldwin between 54th & 56th

40th & New Holland

6035 Barry

The Ottawa County Emergency Management Division has free sandbags available to residents via township offices.

County officials this morning urged residents to call the local township in advance to be certain there are bags available. They advised the bags be filled just over half-full, so the sand can settle to fill voids in the wall once it is built. Officials said sand can be obtained from firms such as De Went Gravel (Jenison), Mulch Pro (Zeeland) and S & M Gravel (Grand Haven), with pricing varied by supplier, and that other suppliers also might be available.

Along with placing sandbags where water is expected to rise quickly, residents are advised to take precautionary measures such as raising items off ground level.

Many areas of Ottawa County are experiencing significant flooding including road washouts, officials said, adding they will report on these locations as soon as they are confirmed.

Officials advised that if residents experience flooding in their homes, they should not enter an area with standing water where there are electrical appliances such as lamps or washing machines.

Any property damage due to flooding should be reported to residents’ local municipality, but any immediate threat for safety should be reported to 911.

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I love that we live in a country that allows us to choose where we want to live. If we own a piece of property, we should be able to live there. But evacuations on Limberlost Lane and VanLopik should NOT be considered news. It is part of life. It would be like the Tribune reporting everytime there is a bit of a snow storm in our Michigan community ... oh ... I guess that does happen too.

I do not want to make the residents of Limber Lost and VanLopik move, but it seems like after living there all of these years, the residents of those areas would understand that high water means they won't have access to their homes (or to leaving their homes).


Our home is on the verge of flooding. Our detached garage is completely flooded. The problem? The Ottawa County Drain Commission has not maintained the drainage system right up the road... along with the Ottawa County Road Commission. To top it off, Michigan Gas Utilities (when installing main gas lines in the ditches) buried and filled the culverts under driveways so no drainage exists. I'm not here whining... I'm here wondering where my tax dollars are going when no preventative maintainance is performed by county agencies... let alone Michigan Gas Utilities not doing a proper job. Now I am out thousands of dollars due to a combination of neglect and poor workmanship? This all could easily have been prevented... but, the Drain Commission evidently oversees itself and does as it pleases, when it pleases. As for the Road Commission, WTH? Supposedly 33 feet from the center of any road is under their jurisdiction... but do they maintain it beyond cutting the ditch weeds 1x per year? Michigan gas Utilities? LOL... Thanks for helping to make things even worse. Well, I might be just one little voice, but I swear I will not take this lying down. One by one, they will own up to their slacking ways.


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