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Flood Information
Update:  July 2, 2013 2:30 p.m.

“On June 18, 2013 President Obama declared Kent County and a number of other counties in Michigan a disaster area following the floods of April 2013.  The declaration makes some federal money available for recovery.   There is an application process and requirements for recovery assistance.  To determine whether you qualify or to submit an application go to:  fema.gov/disaster-survivor-assistance  The FEMA release number required for submission of an application is HQ-13-063“

 

 




Update: May 2, 2013 10:45 a.m.

Click here for the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Member Contractor List for 2013 Flood Victims.  http://ci.lowell.mi.us/Portals/1/Contractor%20List.pdf



Update: April  25, 2013 5:30 p.m.

The Grand River was at 15.05 feet at 6:45 a.m.

Sandbags
* An updated strategy on wet sandbags. Please place them at the curbside so that city crews and/or volunteers can pick them up and dispose of them properly.
* Dry sandbags that did not touch flood waters may be taken to the lot west of the Water Treatment Plant on Bowes Road.

Additional helpful information can be found at the Kent County website:

http://www.accesskent.com/News/


Update: April 24, 2013 5 p.m.


The Grand River was at 16.05 feet at 6:45 a.m.
The Flat River has returned to its normal level.


Roads
* Jackson Street and the bridge across the Grand River is open.
* Grand River from Jackson Street to Montcalm Ave is open.
* Some local streets remain closed within the City of Lowell and will remain closed until further notice, perhaps as long as a week or two. Drivers are encouraged to honor the road closed signs and barricades as any traffic on these streets, even if they are clear of water, could cause further damage to the streets or surrounding properties. Some sink holes have already been reported. Local streets are monitored daily and barricades are adjusted as the rain water recedes. Tickets will be issued by police to those who ignore road closed signs and barricades.


Sandbags
* Dry sandbags that have not been contaminated or touched flood water can be taken to the lot just west of the Water Treatment Plant.
* Wet sandbags can be deposited in the designated area on the south side of Front Street between Jefferson and Washington. Please use care and proper handling techniques when moving contaminated sand bags. There is also discussion of a coordinated volunteer effort to retrieve these bags. Stay tuned for more information.


Homes/Businesses affected
* Please start with your insurance carrier as you begin to plan how you will clean up and remove anything that has been damaged by the flood.
* Dumpsters may be placed on east or south side of city streets. This is required in order to keep streets open for emergency vehicles.
* Anyone who disconnected power voluntarily should contact Lowell Light and Power at 897-8402 before re-connecting.
* Home and business owners looking for assistance from chamber members who may be able to provide clean-up assistance should contact the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 897-9161.


Drinking water from the City of Lowell Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink. Residents and businesses with water wells are advised to have their water tested (please see Kent County information below).



Update: April 24, 2013 3 p.m.

The mold remediation training for Saturday has been cancelled but may be rescheduled to another date.


Update: April 24, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Rubbish and construction dumpsters needed for flood cleanup may be placed on the east side of north/south streets and the south side of east/west streets.  No street parking permit is required as city residents and business owners work to recover from the flood.  By following dumpster placement guideline the city will be able to maintian space on every street for the
passage of emergency vehicles.  Thank you.
 

Update: April 23, 2013 5 p.m.

The Grand River in the City of Lowell receded to a level of 17.22 at 6:50 a.m. today. The National Weather Service projections are that the river will recede at a rate of about one foot per day, although rains forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday could slow the rate somewhat.
• Jackson Street and the bridge over the Grand River remains closed.
• Some local streets remain closed within the City of Lowell and will remain closed until further notice. Drivers are encouraged to honor the road closed signs and barricades as any traffic on these streets, even if they are clear of water, could cause further damage to the streets or surrounding properties. Some sink holes have already been reported. Local streets are monitored daily and barricades are adjusted as the rain water recedes. Tickets will be issued by police to those who ignore road closed signs and barricades.
• Drinking water from the City of Lowell Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink. Residents and businesses with water wells are advised to have their water tested (please see Kent County information below).
• The Wastewater Treatment Plant is still running at capacity so residents are encouraged to continue to conserve water (see Kent County information below). Anyone with a sewer backup is advised to call City Hall immediately at 897-8457.
• Anyone who disconnected power voluntarily should contact Lowell Light and Power at 897-8402 before re-connecting.
• Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) is working with the City of Lowell to help coordinate assistance and relief efforts. They will be coordinating clean-up training for volunteers and those impacted by the flood. In addition, they will organize community clean-up efforts. Questions regarding assistance and relief should be directed to FROM at 897-8260.
• Home and business owners looking for assistance from chamber members who may be able to provide clean-up assistance should contact the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 897-9161.
• Updates will continue to be posted until further notice on the city website at www.ci.lowell.mi.us. Click on the Flood Information link under Latest News.

Training on how to clean flooded homes

On Saturday, 9 a.m., at the Lowell First United Methodist Church, there will be special training on how to clean flooded homes that is open to all homeowners affected and all volunteers who will be working in homes.

Training on mold remediation

On Saturday, 2 p.m., at the Lowell First United Methodist Church, there will be special training on mold remediation. The training is open to all homeowners affected and all volunteers who will be working in homes.

Special lunch for homeowners, volunteers, city crews and employees working long hours

The Lowell First United Methodist Church will sponsor lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It will be held at the church in the lower level, enter through the blue west entrance.

* * * *

Update: April 23, 2013 10 a.m.

Updated water level reading is 17.22 as of 6:50 a.m. this morning. The river will continue to recede even though there is rain projected for the next two days.

Update: April 22, 2013 5 p.m.

The Grand River in the City of Lowell receded to a level of 18.32 at 6:55 a.m. today. The National Weather Service projections are that the river will recede at a rate of about one foot per day, although rains forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday could slow the rate somewhat.

• Hudson Street, including the bridge over the Grand River, has remained open throughout this event and will be open during the morning commute.

• M-21 (Main Street) has been reopened.

• Jackson Street and the bridge over the Grand River remains closed.

• Some local streets remain closed within the City of Lowell and will remain closed until further notice. Drivers are encouraged to honor the road closed signs and barricades as any traffic on these streets, even if they are clear of water, could cause further damage to the streets or surrounding properties. Local streets are monitored daily and barricades are adjusted as the rain water recedes. Tickets will be issued by police to those who ignore road closed signs and barricades.

• Drinking water from the City of Lowell Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink. Residents and businesses with water wells are advised to have their water tested (please see Kent County information below).

• The Wastewater Treatment Plant is still running at capacity so residents are encouraged to continue to conserve water (see Kent County information below). Anyone with a sewer backup is advised to call City Hall immediately at 897-8457.

• Anyone who disconnected power voluntarily should contact Lowell Light and Power at 897-8402 before re-connecting.

• Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) is working with the City of Lowell to help coordinate assistance and relief efforts. They will be coordinating clean-up training for volunteers and those impacted by the flood. In addition, they will organize community clean-up efforts. Questions regarding assistance and relief should be directed to FROM at 897-8260.

• Home and business owners looking for assistance from chamber members who may be able to provide clean-up assistance should contact the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 897-9161.

• Updates will continue to be posted until further notice on the city website at www.ci.lowell.mi.us. Click on the Flood Information link under Latest News.

The City of Lowell is also working very closely with Kent County Emergency Management. They have issued the following information.

The impact of the flooding throughout Kent County will continue to be felt over the coming weeks. The local State of Emergency issued on Friday covers ALL Kent County cities, townships and villages; therefore, no additional declarations are necessary. A disaster declaration is the first step to receiving any state or FEMA funds that may be available. While it is clear that the flood waters are starting to recede, these concerns continue:

1. If you were evacuated from your home, DO NOT RETURN until authorities say it is safe to return.  If your power is out and/or your gas shut down, do not attempt to turn these on yourself.  Do not light matches in a house or business until it is deemed safe.  Crews from your energy company will do this for you.  More information at: http://www.accesskent.com/Health/EmergencyPrep/pdfs/CleaningUpFactSheet.pdf. 

2. The no-contact advisory for the Grand River throughout ALL of Kent County will remain in effect until further notice. Concerns include a fast-moving current, debris, and contamination. Our first responders have had to save several people who ventured into the water (via kayak or raft) and ended up in trouble. Stay out of the water - period.

3. Wastewater treatment plants are still extremely taxed. We are continuing to ask people to conserve water: 
• Flush the toilet less; 
• Shower for a shorter time;
• Avoid doing laundry, or do larger loads at once;
• Avoid the dishwasher - hand-wash dishes instead.

4. If you have well water and the well head was submerged at any time, your water may be contaminated and should not be used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, dish washing, or bathing. Water testing sample bottles are available from the Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids.  KCHD recommends testing well water AFTER floodwaters recede. Until testing results are complete, use bottled water, DO NOT use your well water. 

5. Moving forward, people need to be sure to clean and disinfect businesses homes where the flooding occurred. Wear gloves when handling anything that may have been in flood water or sewage. These areas could have organisms that cause illness to humans and pets. Again, more information can be found here: http://www.accesskent.com/Health/EmergencyPrep/pdfs/CleaningUpFactSheet.pdf 

The American Red Cross provides clean up kits. They include: mop, broom, bucket, gloves, scrub brush, and cleaning chemicals. They are available at the Red Cross shelters and through their Emergency Response Vehicles. For additional information contact the American Red Cross at 456-8661.

6. United Way 211 offers information on personal community resources. This is a 24/7 service.

7. Throw away any food that came in contact with floodwater or sewage, or, if in a freezer or refrigerator, throw out food with an unusual color, odor, or if the temperature is above 45° F internally. 

8.  Hazardous waste, such as gasoline, insect repellant, antifreeze or motor oil, can be taken to these drop off sites: 

Transfer station at North Kent Landfill on 10 Mile Rd NE
2908 10 Mile Rd NE
Rockford, MI 49341

The Kent County Road Commission  
1500 Scribner NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Wyoming Waste Water Treatment Plant 
2350 Ivanrest Ave SW
Grandville, MI 49418

Kentwood Public Works
5068 Breton Rd SE
Kentwood, MI 49508

More information, including hours for Saturday drop-off, can be found at:
http://www.accesskent.com/Departments/DPW/sat_collections.htm


Update: April 21, 2013 5 p.m.

The Grand River in the City of Lowell reached a record height of 19.02 feet at 6:35 a.m. this morning. It remained at that height until mid-morning and has been receding since. Based on local measurements and National Weather Service projections, the water level is receding at a rate of about one inch every two hours.

• Hudson Street, including the bridge over the Grand River, has remained open throughout this event and will be open during the morning commute.
• M-21 (Main Street) east of the Flat River in the City of Lowell remains closed throughout the evening but will reopen at approximately 5 a.m. Monday. Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route until this time and to observe road closure barricades and avoid driving through standing water.
• Jackson Street and the bridge over the Grand River remains closed.
• Some local streets remain closed within the City of Lowell and will remain closed until further notice.
• The Kent County Health Department is maintaining a NO CONTACT Advisory for the Grand River and is assessing and monitoring for emerging health threats.
o In addition to the fast-moving current, the flood water poses other dangers from debris and possible contamination. Contact with the water could lead to illness in humans and animals – infectious organisms such as E. coli, Shigella, and Salmonella. The department advises to stay away from the Grand River as well as other creeks and rivers until further notice. It also recommends keeping pets away from these waters.
• Until the flooding event passes, all residents are asked to use water conservatively. This means:
o Flush toilets less;
o Shower for a shorter time;
o Avoid doing laundry, or do larger loads at once;
o Avoid the dishwasher – hand wash dishes instead.
• Drinking water from the City of Lowell Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink. Residents and businesses with water wells are advised to have their water tested.
• Updates will continue to be posted until further notice on the city website at www.ci.lowell.mi.us. Click on the Flood Information link under Latest News.

Update: April 21, 2013 7 a.m.

It's official. The reading on the Grand River level at 6:35 a.m. was 19.02 feet. That is a new record for the Grand River at the City of Lowell. It is expected that the river will stay at this level for most of Sunday morning and begin to drop Sunday afternoon.

Congratulations to every citizen, volunteer, public worker and anyone involved in responding and preparing for this event. We responded with courage and determination.


Update: April 20, 2013 7 p.m.

Based on updated projections from the National Weather Service, the City of Lowell has determined that it does not anticipate that power will be shut down for Lowell Light and Power customers east of the Flat River. The previous advisory anticipating a potential shut down has been lifted.

The Grand River was at 18.83 feet as of 4 p.m. today. The National Weather Service has predicted that it will rise to 19.05 feet by 8 p.m. and crest at 19.2 feet by 8 a.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service predicts that it will begin receding by 2 p.m. on Sunday.

• M-21 (Main Street) east of the Flat River in the City of Lowell remains closed. Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route.

• Jackson Street and the bridge over the Grand River remains closed.

• Hudson Street could be limited to one-lane as the river continues to rise during the evening on Saturday and during the day on Sunday.

• The City of Lowell is encouraging traffic to be limited to residents, local business employees and emergency vehicles only.

Update: April 20, 2013 11 a.m.

Based on current predictions from the National Weather Service, the City of Lowell is bracing for another 1.5 feet of flooding along the Grand River. The river was at 18.5 feet at 8 a.m. this morning and is expected to rise to 19.5 feet by 10 p.m. this evening and crest to 20 feet Sunday afternoon.

• Power is anticipated to be shut down for all Lowell Light and Power customers east of the Flat River sometime Sunday morning. The power will remain off until the water recedes to a safe level which could be a number of days.

• M-21 (Main Street) east of the Flat River in the City of Lowell is closed. Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route.

• Jackson Street and the bridge over the Grand River is closed.

• Crews are working to keep Hudson Street between the Grand River and Bowes Road open. Hudson Street is the second north/south bridge over the Grand River.

• The City of Lowell is encouraging traffic to be limited to residents and emergency vehicles only.


Update: April 20, 2013 8 a.m.

The water at the Grand River is at 18.5 feet as (630.5 MSL) as of 8 a.m. this morning. National Weather Service predictions are that it will be at 20 feet (632 MSL) by 7 p.m. Sunday.

Jackson Street has been closed and is in an usafe condition. Please use Hudson Street for north/south traffic in and out of the City of Lowell.

Resident east of the Flat River should begin making preparations for a power outage. If the water reaches the main transformer near the library power will have to be shut down.

Phones are being manned at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. Call 616-897-8457 for questions or to volunteer.


Update: April 19, 2013 6:30 p.m.

The water level at the Grand River was at 17.4 (629.4 mean sea level) as of 4:36 p.m. National Weather Service predictions are that it will be at 18.5 feet (630.5 MSL) around 6 a.m. Saturday morning and rising at a rate of about a foot every 24 hours reaching a peak, or crest, of 20 feet (632 MSL) by 6 p.m. Sunday.

The City of Lowell declared a Local State of Emergency effective at 3 p.m. today.

Update: April 19, 2013 5:45 p.m.

An emergency shelter has been established by the American Red Cross at the First Baptist Church (2275 West Main) for those who need to evacuate their homes.  Contact the Red Cross at 616-456-8661 for more information.

Update: April 19, 2013 5:30 p.m.

For additional information, or for anyone who wants to volunteer, please contact City Hall at 616-897-8457 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday.

Update: April 19, 2013 4:00 p.m.

FYI....due to the huge response of volunteers; the sand bagging location has been moved from Department of Public Works (217 S. Hudson) to Cherry Creek Elementary School (12675 Foreman)

Update:  April 19, 2013 4:00 p.m.

The April 2013 flood in the City of Lowell is expected to impact the 100-year flood plain.  A map outlining the flood plain can be found on the City's website.

Safety Precautions:

Move valuable items from the ground floor of your house or business
Move vehicles to a parking lot or city street that is higher than the 100-year floodplain
Monitor water levels and information sources

Evacuation:

Evacuations will be on a voluntary basis - no mandatory evacuations are anticipated.
  • Emergency shelter is available through the Red Cross at the First Baptist Church, 2275 W. Main St., Lowell, MI
  • Lock all doors and windows
    Turn off the main curcuit breaker at the panel box
  • DO NOT TURN OFF POWER IF YOU HAVE TO STAND IN WATER TO DO SO.
Electrical Safety Tips:
  • If electrical equipment and wiring has been exposed to water through flooding, contact Lowell Light and Power for evaluation.
  • In any area where immediate flooding is anticipated, it is essential to shut off all electrical power by turning off the main service switch.  If possible, move as much electrical equipment as possible to floors or areas above the anticipated flood level.
  • Always be prepared with a flashlight and batteries ready as flooding may occur at night.
  • Use extreme caution when returning home to a flood damaged area.  Stay clear of any electrical power wires.  ELECTRICITY CAN TRAVEL THROUGH WATER.
  • Immediately report any downed wires to Lowell Light & Power or call 911.
  • Remove dangerous chemicals (such as weed killers, insecticides & corrosives) to dry areas to reduce the chance of contaminating electrical equipment.
  • Shut off electrical power and gas supply valve to any gas-fired appliance prior to flooding, if possible.  Shut off the electrical supply to all oil-fire equipment.
Contact Lowell Light & Power at 616-897-8402 (Staff is available 24/7, 365 days per year)

If you have downed power lines, call 911.
    

Update:  April 19, 2013 2:45 p.m.
 
A merchant meeting will be held at City Hall/5:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Update: April 19, 2013 12:45 p.m.

Those in need of housing for their animals may contact Sjana Gordon at 616-885-4223

Update: April 19, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Red Cross is set up at First Baptist Church (2275 W. Main) for those in need. You must register before receiving assistance.


Update:  April 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

Residents on Maple and Brooks streets will experience some flooding.  Please use your own judgement for evacuation.  Sand bags are available at the Department of Public Works (217 S. Hudson). 

Also, residents who reside in the lower level of Pebble Beach Apartments could experience flooding. 


Update: April 19, 2013, 8:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has reduced the projected crest to 20 feet by 8 a.m. Sunday. It is currently at 16.5 feet.

Update: April 18, 2013, 5 p.m.

• The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Grand River at Lowell. The Grand River is currently at flood stages (15.1 feet) and is predicted to rise to 21 feet by Sunday afternoon. The Flat River at Smyrna is predicted to rise 3 feet between now and Sunday afternoon.
• The National Weather Service advises to expect major flooding of businesses and residences in the Lowell area and high water affecting the business district.
• Emergency management professionals for the City of Lowell have determined that flooding will impact areas within the 100-year flood plain and potentially some areas within the 500-year flood plain. The following areas are of particular concern:
o The southeast quadrant.
o Areas on the east end of Bowes Road.
o Areas around the Lee and Cherry Creek flood plains.
o Much of downtown along Main Street.
o The area surrounded by Main Street, Jefferson Street, King Street and the Flat River.
o The area around Schneider Manor.
o Areas between Bowes Road and Main Street from the Flat River to Center Street.
• Anyone who lives in these areas should take immediate steps to protect their property and belongings.
• The City of Lowell Natural Features map will be posted on the city website and shows the 100-year and 500-year flood plain areas.
• Emergency management professionals have developed a response plan based on these projections.
o Sand bags and sand will be available to residents within the projected flood plain areas beginning on Friday at 8 a.m. at the Department of Public Works building (217 South Hudson).
o Additional police patrols have been scheduled.
o Fire, Emergency Response and Public Works staff are working daily and will be on stand-by during the evenings and weekend.
o The City of Lowell is coordinating with various other community agencies.
o The Red Cross has been contacted and an emergency shelter will be designated for those who must evacuate their homes. More information, including who to contact, will be published on Friday.
• For additional information, or for anyone who wants to volunteer, please contact City Hall at 616-897-8457 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on Friday.
• Updates will continue to be posted on the city website at www.ci.lowell.mi.us. Click on the Flood Information link under Latest News.




Updated, 4/18/13, 1:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service has updated its projections. The Grand River is projected to crest to 21 feet on Sunday.

Following is a history from the National Weather Service.

Historical Crests for Grand River at Lowell

(1) 19.00 ft on 03/22/1948
(2) 18.50 ft on 04/08/1947
(3) 17.80 ft on 03/19/1942
(4) 17.38 ft on 04/02/1960
(5) 17.26 ft on 03/07/1976
(6) 17.17 ft on 05/26/2004
(7) 16.85 ft on 10/03/1986
(8) 16.80 ft on 03/18/1943
(9) 16.40 ft on 04/06/1950
(10) 16.40 ft on 03/19/1982
(11) 16.12 ft on 05/12/1956
(12) 16.10 ft on 02/15/1938
(13) 15.90 ft on 10/04/1981
(14) 15.80 ft on 02/24/1997
(15) 15.75 ft on 12/30/2008
(16) 15.50 ft on 03/09/1946
(17) 15.10 ft on 04/08/1985
(18) 15.02 ft on 04/30/2009
(19) 14.86 ft on 05/21/2000
(20) 14.00 ft on 04/25/1999
(21) 13.70 ft on 06/21/1996
(22) 13.20 ft on 02/14/2009
(23) 10.35 ft on 04/10/2010


Updated, 4/18/13, 12:30 p.m.

The Grand River is expected to crest at approximately 19.5 feet on Sunday night or Monday. This will flood the east area of the City of Lowell up to Main Street and along Bowes Road. The high water level may affect your residence or business. Please stay tuned to this web page or the television or radio for information.

Click here
for National Weather Service Information:

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=grr&gage=lwlm4


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