Contact: Lt. Louis Hunt - Kent County Emergency Manager
Supervisor Approval: Lt. Joel Roon
Incident Type: Weather Event
A significant winter storm is expected that will bring a lot of precipitation, potentiallly in multiple forms such as rain, ice, and snow. It is too early to know exactly how the precipiation will get divided up but we are asking our citizens to prepare for rain that translates to areal flooding (roads and low-lying areas) and then flooding along the Grand River. In addition, the situation may translate to significant ice on roads, trees and resulting power outages. The flooding along the Grand River has the potential to be higher than levels we saw in 2019, and more consistent with the level of flooding we saw in 2018. Based on this potential, we ask residents who were significantly affected in 2018 to make a plan to temporarily relocate before levels rise to the point of impassable roads and isolation. Remember that water is dangerous, especially any water with flow, and access to isolated residences from public safety would be slowed or limited. Special attention will be in low lying areas in Plainfield Twp. such as: Abrigador Trail, Willow, Konkle, St. Lawrence, Forest Ridge and the Riverbank St. area, among others. Other townships/cities include Shady Dr. in Ada Twp., low lying open areas near Lowell, and low lying areas/ roads in the cities of Walker and Grandville, among others. Common sense would also dictate that recreational activities such as kayaking during high water events can be dangerous/deadly because of increased flows and hypothermia. For more information regarding water levels and predictions, please visit the NWS website at water.weather.gov
Update: the flooding potential in Kent County appears to be trending down now with more emphasis on precipitation as freezing rain. Kent County is still expected to see the Grand River go to flood stage, but consistent with 2019 flooding instead of 2018. As always, flood stage can create closed roads and isolated homes, so having a plan to re-locate if needed is highly recommended.
In addition, icy roads are expected throughout this weekend so if you don’t have to travel, please stay home. There is the potential for ice build up on trees/limbs that can cause widespread power outages. Having a plan for self-sufficiency during power outages ensures for you the most comfort possible and helps Emergency Management concentrate on those who require resources. An excellent plan is to have a reciprocal relationship with a loved one or trusted friend, whose home you can go to (and vice versa) if you cannot stay in your own. Some other important preparation items include: a "go bag" of essentials that you can take with you including medicines and other necessary items, a plan for your pet if you need to relocate, checking your generator for function and fuel, a charged cell phone and extra battery, flashlights, and extra water on hand especially if your water is provided by a well pump. Kent County Emergency Management will be monitoring this situation and preparing/reacting accordingly. If needed, resource needs can be directed to United Way 211, who will be in contact with Kent County Emergency Management.