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'Never been this bad': Spring Lake homes, roads flooded due to heavy rains, high waters

Village leaders volunteered to fill sand bags at one couple's home on Thursday, April 30.

SPRING LAKE, Mich. — After bouts of heavy rain, homes and roads flooded in Spring Lake -- a community that's consistently dealt with high waters. 

"It's so hard to see all of our beautiful assets are underwater," Village Manager Chris Burns said. "People's homes are underwater. Streets are closed. It's gut-wrenching."

Village leaders already closed Mill Point Park for the summer due to a flooded parking lot and soggy conditions. That flooding extended all the way to intersection of School and W Exchange Streets on Wednesday, April 30. 

"We're really trying to make decisions on what we let flood and what we try to save," Burns said. "We've got a number of streets that we're having to let flood. It's too expensive to try to keep the water at bay."

A group of volunteers spent Thursday morning building a dike in the backyard of one flooded home on Boelens Court. 

"We woke up with three inches of water in our basement," Berny Snoeuier, who's lived in Spring Lake for 15 years. "We solved the whole problem in a few hours, so it's incredible. [Everyone was] masked and all in good spirits."

The village has delivered over 1,700 sand bags to residents dealing with high waters, which have caused over $1 million in damages, Burns said. 

"That cannot be done until the water recedes and we figure out how to pay for it," she said. "The inflow and infiltration of our sanitary and sewer system has also driven our costs of both sewer treatment and electricity through the roof."

Communities on the lakeshore will be dealing with high water at least through the summer, said Nick Bonstell, director of Ottawa County Emergency Management.

"Don't just look at this as a record rainfall," Bonstell said. "A lot of this is because the groundwater saturation and the drains are so high, that it's not going to take much for this to happen again. We're going to be doing this again, so start preparing for what the looks like for your property."

Credit: WZZM

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