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Heavy rains worsen flooding in parts of Michigan

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm •  Published: April 18, 2013
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Lower Michigan's already overflowing rivers were getting more water as a wave of severe thunderstorms pushed through the state Thursday, forcing some people to evacuate and knocking out power to about 77,000 homes and businesses.

In the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming, Mayor Jack Poll declared a state of emergency Thursday and officials issued an evacuation order for some areas. The city called in available police, firefighters and public works employees and is making sand bags and sand available.

Workers were using inflatable boats to rescue some people living along the Buck Creek, a Grand River tributary.

In Grand Rapids, five children were carried from a stalled vehicle through a flooded West Michigan street.

Melissa Kolenda said she was taking photos Thursday when she noticed the vehicle had stopped running and wouldn't restart. She said the driver was deathly afraid of water.

"I said, 'If I come out there, you're going to need to come out with me,'" Kolenda told MLive.com. A police officer and firefighter helped Kolenda carry the children to dryer ground. They also helped two women to safety. The water was waist-high and there was a strong current, and the car eventually became completely submerged, Kolanda said.

Police in Grand Haven on Thursday morning found a man's body in the Grand River near where it enters Lake Michigan. His identity wasn't immediately confirmed, and authorities were awaiting autopsy results to learn what killed him.

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