BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — After heavy rainfall Wednesday, parts of Big Rapids saw the worst flooding the city has experienced in over 30 years.
In the span of about four hours, Big Rapids got several inches of rain. Many roads became impassable. After the rain stopped, creeks and rivers overflowed, causing more flooding in the city.
Mayor Fred Guenther says the last time Big Rapids flooded like this was 1986. After that, engineers convinced city officials that some of the infrastructure needed to be repaired. Guenther now says it will have to be re-examined.
The flooding subsided Thursday morning. While Mitchell Creek Park was entirely underwater Wednesday, the area is now relatively dry. The walking trails, however, are covered in sand and debris carried in by the water.
Mitchell Creek Park flooding
Wednesday’s flooding took residents by surprise.
“It was like 20 minutes after we got to work and the drain was overflowing, and within 20 minutes it was up to our car doors, and another 30 minutes goes by and it’s in the basement and pushing through the door,” said local employee Madeline Glaza.
“Now our basement is completely flooded,” added employee Chelsey Tetzlaff.
The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety says some roads will remain closed indefinitely because of damage.
They are also reminding people not to drive through flooded areas because you can't see the damage done to the road, and it may be deeper than it appears. As little as six inches of water can cause vehicles to stall or lose control.
As the saying goes, turn around, don't drown.
A flood warning was in effect in Big Rapids until 9:30 a.m.
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