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)
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
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
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.