Residents soaked

Like many in West Michigan, Molly Sharier contended with a flooded home and backyard on Thursday.
Alex Doty
Apr 19, 2013


“The rain definitely made it seep in,” the Grand Haven woman said. “We’ve also got a problem in the backyard that leaves us with a small pond.”

Sharier said it isn’t the worst-possible scenario, but it is frustrating.

“It’s not horrible,” she said. “It’s not even an inch deep.”

Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter said the worst flooding in the city is in the southeast, such as the low-lying areas near Park and Orchard avenues.

“We’ve had quite a few reports (of flooding) — and what we’ve been finding is, it is a lot of groundwater getting into basements,” he said. “There’s no where for the water to go right now.”

Spring Lake Township Public Works Director Ron Brondyke said there isn’t a lot people can do about the saturated groundwater because of the massive amount of rain this week.

“All over the township, we have been getting many reports,” he said. “It is all over the place.”

Spring Lake Village Manager Chris Burns said the phones at Village Hall have been "ringing off of the hook with calls about flooded roads."

“We hope it gives us a break over the weekend,” she said.

Burns urged residents that experience flood conditions on their roads or water backing up into their basements to call the Village Hall.

“If there is water over the road, don’t drive through it — call us,” she said. “You just don’t know what you are getting into.”

Burns said public works crews will be able to identify if the flooding is the result of groundwater seeping into the basement or a sewer issue.

“If it is sewer-related, we want to know so we can address it accordingly,” she said.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management has distributed 5,000 sandbags as of Thursday. An additional 12,000 are being distributed to local units of government to further assist residents in protecting their homes. 

Residents are urged to call their local township hall in advance to be sure that there are bags available. Check with individual townships for “after-hours” distribution.

There is no charge for the sand bags; however, they must be used for flood prevention purposes.

Sand is available through several suppliers, including S&M Gravel in Grand Haven. 

Officials said it is important to only fill bags just over half full so the sand can settle to fill voids in the wall once it is built.



I sincerely feel for anyones' home that has experienced problems due to these historic water levels. Being that, just remember that our tax dollars pay for preventative county drain maintenance that has obviously been overlook for many years. It is what it is, no more, no less. Heavy rains are to be expected, however our municpalities are also expected to somewhat forsee these "Acts of God" and provide at least a minimal amount of protection when such things happen. What is minimal? Completely ignoring safety precautions? Our ditches get shallower ever year. Instead of paying a person to sweep 75% of the "just dumped gravel" into county ditches, how about someone actually oversees that proper procedure is followed? Then again, maybe this is proper procedure according to the county book of "Spoil". Right is right, wrong is wrong. It's just that simple. Don't bow your heads and accept what you are told... especially when your heart knows better. Your tax dollars shouldn't only come into play when things are tight. Think about it and speak up. Quit looking at your feet and worrying about stepping in dog cr** and look at the path in front of you. The real cr** is waist high and a wall that is ignored until you have to go home and change clothes.


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