Comparing Houston rainfall totals to previous floods in West Michigan

Rain comparison

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - In Grand Rapids, we average about 38 inches of rain per year, compare that to the 50 inches parts of Houston got over a few days. 

"The amount of water that occurred in Texas is incredibly unlikely to ever happen in Michigan, in fact we've never seen that kind of rain in Michigan in our entire record keeping," National Weather Service Meterologist Brandon Hoving said.

He said that amount of rain set a new record for the lower 48 states for any tropical system.

"They average about 48 inches of rain a year, so they just received almost their entire annual rain in a few days," Hoving said.

In fact you'd have to go back about three decades to recall flood waters in lower Michigan, September of 1986.

"It's referred to as the biggest flood lower Michigan has had," Hoving said. "That was a flood event across central and lower Michigan and the most we had out of that event in lower Michigan was around 13 inches of rain in Big Rapids and that was over the course of several days."

To provide another perspective, the flood of 1986 dropped 10 to 13 inches of rain over three days. The probability of that happening again is one in one thousand.

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