May 11, 2020

High Lake Michigan Water Levels Leads to Basement Flooding

Homeowners in northern Ottawa County, Michigan have reported basement flooding.

flood control

Between 30 to 50 homes in Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and the surrounding areas reported the basement flooding caused by the roughly 4.8 inches of rain that fell Apr. 28 - 30, reported Booth Newspapers.

According to Joe Bush, Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner, the majority of homeowners are reporting about an inch of water. Some reports detail basements flooded with 6 to 8 inches of water as well, however.

In some areas, the water is ponded in backyards, roadways and parking lots. The water table has already been raised by historic high water levels on Lake Michigan, according to Booth Newspapers. In March, the Army Corps of Engineers reported water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron are measuring about 3 foot higher than average, which is the highest in recorded history.

Projected lake levels will likely peak in July, added the Army Corps. Some of the issue is that not all of the sump pumps drain into the storm sewers. They may be draining into backyards instead.

“The ones that are calling me the most, I would say 80% of them, have never seen water in their home,” said Bush. “They’ve been living in these homes 20 to 30 years and have never seen water like this before, or they never had sump pumps because they never needed them, they never saw water come up through the floor.”

Bush’s department is assisting affected homes by keeping the county’s storm sewers and drains clear of debris. Residents are also being connected with contractors and resources to bail out their homes, reported Booth Newspapers.

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