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UPDATE: New flood risk in Mecosta County

12:27 AM, Feb 3, 2013   |    comments
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Ice Jam on Muskegon River. Picture sent in by Stan Karwoski.

UPDATE (10 p.m. SATURDAY)-- After spilling over its banks Wednesday, the Muskegon River is receding, but the danger of sudden flooding isn't over yet for families in Mecosta County.

"The problem is when you have this cold weather, the ice jams continue to form. And that's what really creates this problem- ice coming downstream, creating a jam, and blocking the normal flow of the river," explains Scott Schroeder, emergency manager coordinator for Mecosta County.

Schroeder says 90 parcels of land have been affected by flooding near Rogers Heights. He is also keeping a close eye on a potential ice jam near Big Rapids, which could cause the river to quickly rise.

So far, 30 Mecosta County homes have been evacuated. The American Red Cross is offering food and shelter for displaced residents at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids.

"We had one family the first night-a couple with a baby-they came, they were here for dinner, but they were able to find another place to stay," says Cindy Havens with the American Red Cross. "We're just here to meet the needs of the community."

Havens says if no one shows up for help Saturday night, the Red Cross will likely close the shelter Sunday.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Victims of last weeks flooding due to ice jams on the Muskegon River near Rogers Heights now have a temporary place to seek shelter.

The Red Cross has set up operations at the First United Methodist Church at 304 Elm Street in Big Rapids, MI.

For more information click here or call 231-796-6562.

The shelter opened up last night; prepared to serve those victims.   As of this morning, only three people have taken advantage of the services.

The Red Cross says they will keep the shelter open through at least Sunday evening or until the needs are met.

In total, roughly 55 homes were damaged.  About half of those homes are occupied year-round.  The other half are seasonal vacation homes.

Approximately 30 people have been displaced by the flooding.

The Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect for the ice jam until 2:30 pm Monday.

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