PORTLAND, Mich. — Approximately 50 people were forced from their homes Wednesday morning in Portland due to flooding on the Grand River.
Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman said water levels started to rise around midnight, due to an ice jam.
Business owner Pat Kline said the basement of her store had retained four inches of water overnight.
“This is half of our store, so half of our store is going to be closed," Kline said.
Kline, the owner of The Blue Mason Jar, sells antiques and other items from local vendors.
"This is my baby, this has been very emotional for me trying to save people’s things, because people work hard for their items and we have a lot of homemade things,” Kline said.
The water is seeping in through the cracks of the ground in the basement of her store. Other business and home owners are experiencing similar circumstances.
“We’re accustomed to the ice jams here just because of how the river narrows coming through the city of Portland. However, we’ve never had an event like this, as far as the water breaching the roadways," said the city manager. Gorman said it's been about 100 years since an event like this hit Portland.
Those who were evacuated from their homes were given temporary shelters. By midday Wednesday, officials said most of the residents were back home.
“A lot is going to depend on the weather... but, we’re going to be standing ready with our emergency personnel to go through the same steps as necessary to protect the well-being of our residents," Gorman said.
City and county officials will continue to monitor the situation along the river. Officials encourage people living along the river to monitor water levels. They should evacuate if the water starts to encroach on their homes.
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