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Thornapple River Conditions Improving but Caution Still Advised

July 10th, 2019 4:32 pm

Contact: Sgt. Joel Roon - 616.632.6106
Email: joel.roon@kentcountymi.gov
Supervisor Approval: Sgt. Roon 
Incident Type: Hazard Warning 

UPDATE:  Conditions on the Thornapple River have returned to more normal conditions, however, water levels remain slightly elevated.  KCSO Marine Patrol has been monitoring the river conditions continually, and recently kayaked the stretch commony used by recreationalists between 84th and 68th St SE.  Following that patrol, at this time we are lifting the recommendation to stay off the Thornapple River for recreational purposes.  We always advocate that people use caution and utilize capable vessels with appropriate safety gear if they choose to float the river, as there is still a stronger current than we typically see this time of year.  For emergencies and persons in distress, call 911 immediately. 

Original Advisory from July 1st:

CALEDONIA Twp, Mich:  High waters and fast currents have resulted in several emergency responses to the Thornapple River in recent weeks for calls involving distressed tubers and kayakers.  The combination of swift currents along with several down trees, which are a result of spring storms, has created hazardous conditions on the river that have prompted our recommendation to stay off the Thornapple for recreational purposes until further notice.  The major area of concern is in Caledonia Township between 68th and 84th Street SE, which is where most of the tubing and kayaking takes place.  We have seen several instances in which people are unable to avoid the downed trees and are swept into their branches and trapped for long periods of time after being overturned.  We will be monitoring conditions on the river throughout the week, and will update this release once the river has returned to more normal conditions.