The Grand River is projected to reach just under 21 feet by Saturday, Feb. 22, which is less than a foot shy of it's peak during the flood of April 2013.

"We are better prepared this time because we could pull out our plans from a couple years back and kind of reevaluate," said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Manager.

The last major flood to hit the county occurred in April of 2013. There's been less rainfall this year, in comparison, but the snow melt combined with ground freeze is leading to a heavier water accumulation.

According to the National Weather Service, Ada and Lowell are expected to hit moderate stage flooding (projected 22.8 ft - 18.5 ft) by midday Friday.

Closer to downtown Grand Rapids is projected to reach moderate flooding at 21 feet by Saturday at 7:00 a.m., but levels are expected to begin going back down that evening.

Stewart said residents should pay attention to river level projections and make the decision to evacuate sooner rather than later.

Carly Luttmann, of the Kent County Animal Shelter, issued this advice for pet owners:

Pet owners are encouraged to keep an emergency pack for their pets handy, should there be a need to evacuate quickly. Just like an emergency pack for yourself or your family, you should collect and pack items to keep your pet healthy and comfortable for a matter of a few days to a week. Helpful items are food, a couple of bottles of fresh water, bowls (collapsible bowls are great to save space), and a few doses of any prescriptions or supplements your pet currently takes. Other items that will help keep your pet safe are a leash, a collar, favorite treats or chews, bedding, a tie out and a long line to use with it, vaccination records, and even a muzzle in the event your pet has to be handled under stressful circumstances.

It’s also important to think about what identification your pet is wearing. You really can’t beat a good old fashioned pet collar with a dog license and an engraved ID tag with your personal information on it. If a Good Samaritan finds your dog while it’s lost, a Kent County dog license tag can be easily traced by animal control or many local veterinary offices that participate in our dog licensing program. for more information on how to get your dog licensed.

Does your pet have a microchip ID? There are dozens of microchip manufacturers that all keep different databases of pet owner information. Knowing which chip is in your pet and how to update it can be tricky business. The most important thing to know about a microchip is to update it annually. At the Kent County Animal Shelter, most of the microchipped stray pets we get do not have current contact information for the owner and are often registered to a previous owner! We recommend using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool at By simply typing in your pet’s microchip, the tool will tell you which company to contact in order to make sure that your name, phone numbers, address and email information are up to date. If you are unsure of your pet’s microchip number, you can usually have them scanned at your veterinarians office or at the Kent County Animal Shelter.

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