Flooding in Ionia County is Surrounding Homes; Evacuation Possible

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IONIA COUNTY (WILX)-- The worst flooding so far in mid-Michigan seems to be in Ionia County. Emergency management workers are trying to stay on top of it.

So far one bridge has been washed out on Lincoln St. in Ionia, and many more are on the verge of being covered in the Lyons and Muir area.

Some houses in Lyons are surrounded by water deep enough to kayak in. That's exactly what teenager Andy Eller was doing outside him home Thursday afternoon.

"Last night rained a ton. I woke up this morning and it was a huge puddle all around. They've told us that they recommend evacuation but it's not coming in our house so there's no reason to leave."

Basements of houses all along the river have been flooding. If the river rises a few more feet the Ionia County Emergency Management team says those places will be the first to be evacuated.

"Both sides of our home are completely flooded. We had some back up of the sewer system. My fully finished basement is full of water and we have spent the past two days trying to pump it out," said Lyons homeowner Allen Orban.

"Area's of most concern are along the Grand River through Lyons, Muir, Ionia, and Saranac areas," said Emergency Management Coordinator Doug Devries.

Already the Emergency Management team has evacuated a few homes surrounded by rising creeks. They are starting to prepare for the worst.

"We are filling sandbags right now and looking for the best area's to use them . We don't want to put them somewhere where the river will easily surpass them and waste all of our time and energy," said Devries.

In Ionia the Grand River is normally 8 feet deep, but with the recent rain it is now 21 feet deep. Devries says 21 feet is on the brink of flooding issues. The last time the area had flooding like this was in 2003. It's predicted with two more inches of rain the river will raise to 27 1/2 feet deep. At that level it's almost guaranteed that some more area's will have to be evacuated.

The Ionia Emergency Management Team will go door-to-door if it decides to issue an evacuation order. We'll let you know if that happens.

There are many unseen dangers when it comes to flooding. Those in the area need to stay alert so they are not stranded by a road washing out, or worse. Red Cross has an emergency shelter in Ionia at the Armory on Main St. if anyone needs it.

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