Recent storms create dangerous conditions on the river

Water rescues this spring

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The recent storms that swept through West Michigan have created more dangerous conditions along the Grand River.

Grand Rapids Fire Department is monitoring the high water levels and stronger currents. They are prepared for water rescues, but advise people to stay out of the river.

“We have a lot of big boulders, a lot of big trees down,” said Lt. Travis Gurd, Grand Rapids Fire Department. “So if anyone gets swept underneath the water, you could be actually trapped underneath those debris.”

Jeff Neumann, who operates GR Paddling, said his business doesn’t even open for the season until May due to spring storms and snow melt.

“It's pretty unnerving when you're paddling and all the sudden you get that stump underneath [you],” Neumann said.

In addition to strong currents and fallen debris, hypothermia continues to be one of the most dangerous factors for both firefighters and water rescue victims.

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