PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The rising Grand River has driven hundreds of people from their homes in several western Michigan communities and was pushing Sunday toward a record high near Grand Rapids.
The river was 5.8 feet above flood stage at 1 p.m. Sunday at Comstock Park in Kent County's Plainfield Township, north of Grand Rapids, according to the National Weather Service. The measurement at Comstock Park was 0.1 feet below its all-time high, and the weather service said it expected the river to crest above that record Sunday or Monday.
At least 100 homes in the Comstock Park area were flooded, WOOD-TV reported.
"My backyard is the yard and the river is behind me, now the river is to my house. I'm surrounded by water all the way around my house," said resident Gary Smith. "When I step out, I have a porch and then I have one step that's still visible, and then I step down into at least three feet of water; four feet of water."
Farther downstream, the Grand River was 3.8 feet over flood stage in Grand Rapids and 3.3 feet over at Ottawa County's Robinson Township on Sunday afternoon, the weather service said.
Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell declared a state of emergency Saturday.
Hundreds of residents were forced to leave the Plaza Towers and Courtyard Marriott in Grand Rapids after water from the Grand River poured into the basement of the 32-story building Saturday, knocking out electrical service, according to MLive.com.
Water also flooded the basements of other major buildings along the river, including the JW Marriott and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
People have been busy filling and stacking sandbags around the Grand Rapids Public Museum, threatened by rising water.
High water levels also continued upstream Sunday, with the Grand River 2.9 feet over flood stage at Ada, 3.9 feet over at Lowell and 2.6 feet over at Ionia.
Flooding also continued Sunday afternoon in central Michigan, with the Saginaw River 5.3 feet above flood stage at Saginaw.
National Weather Service flood report: http://1.usa.gov/13HcbG9