Ingham County Braces For Flooding

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Quick history lesson: Lansing was built on a swamp.

"When it gets wet, it stays wet for a while, and it doesn't drain very easily," Lansing Director of Public Services Chad Gamble said.

Plus, the roads were covered in frost when the rain began, making it run into the rivers very quickly. The city's Emergency Management Team is monitoring the situation closely. It even uses a "flood book" with noteable areas, like Potter Park.

"That underpass right near the train tracks is a very low area," Gamble said. "So, we just need to be ready, we need to be prepared and see what mother nature has for us."

The Potter Park Zoo parking lot had a few deep puddles Tuesday. They've had some issues with flooding in the past, but they said they're prepared for anything, along with the rest of Ingham County Parks.

"We have key areas in the parks that we know are a tendency to flood, so we'll watch those very carefully and use those as a guideline," Director of Ingham County Parks Willis Bennett said.

Their main focus is keeping people safe who are using the trails, but of course, drivers should use caution as well. The Okemos Road and Grand River Ave. area is notorious for flooding. Meridian Township Police even had a vehicle ruined while directing traffic during a past flood. They say to slow down to avoid hydroplaning, and don't press your luck.

"Some drivers feel if they have a pick-up truck or a four-wheel drive type vehicle, they feel the water can't be deep enough to affect their vehicle," Lt. Greg Frenger said. "If you see that the roads are closed, they are closed for a good purpose, a good reason."

Water damage to your home is another risk. Restoration businesses are already being flooded with service calls.

"A lot of apartments, lower levels, even commercial stores that sit low and maybe there's too much flooding that comes up through the parking lot storm drains," Owner of ACE Rug Cleaners Steve Spalding said.

It might be good weather for their business, but bad weather for your basement.

Ingham and Eaton County Road Commissions said with a few inches of rain, drivers should expect road closures in the morning.

The public is encouraged to call Lansing's Public Services Department if you see storm drains covered in debris or clogged in some way.


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