flood http://michiganradio.org en Stateside for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-march-11-2014 <p>The Detroit automakers are moving into their fifth year of recovery after the disastrous bottoming-out of 2009 when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Half a decade later, however, sales are brisk and auto loans are available. But is the future that bright? On today's show: Are there warning signs of another auto downturn? And, if so, what needs to happen to stop it?</p><p>Then, what will our rivers and roads look like once spring hits and the snow melts? We spoke with meteorologist Jim Maczko&nbsp;to find out.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lake Erie is full of algae blooms and dead zones, and a new report is asking us to take action. What can be done to improve the health of this lake?</span></p><p>Also,&nbsp;how about adding smell to food advertising?&nbsp;</p><p>First on the show, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">re Michigan veterans getting what they deserve in terms of benefits and support?</span></p><p>The Veterans' Administration says when it comes to per-capita spending on veterans, Michigan checks in at an average of just over $3,400 per vet. The national average is over $4,800. That places Michigan last in the nation.</p><p>What is the state doing about this and to make sure that veterans get all the benefits to which they're entitled?</p><p>The director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes, joined us today.</p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:32:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 16814 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Will this Michigan spring bring water, water everywhere? http://michiganradio.org/post/will-michigan-spring-bring-water-water-everywhere <p>We've all kept rather busy this winter tracking the seemingly never-ending snowfall. And, with nobody's friend – the polar vortex – hanging around all winter, nothing has melted. So there's a sizeable snow pack just waiting for the spring melt.</p><p>What are forecasters predicting in terms of river and road flooding this spring?</p><p>Jim Maczko is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service based in Grand Rapids. He joined us today to give us an idea of what to look out for as temperatures warm up.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 19:57:47 +0000 Stateside Staff 16811 at http://michiganradio.org Will this Michigan spring bring water, water everywhere? 'Thrill seekers' in emergency situations would pay for their own rescue under new bills http://michiganradio.org/post/thrill-seekers-emergency-situations-would-pay-their-own-rescue-under-new-bills <p>People who need to be rescued after taking part in “reckless” behavior during emergencies would be fined <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ykpu3saukouk3fuqqi1gzwrf))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectName=2013-HB-4856">under bills introduced in the state house this week.</a></p><p>Emergency responders had to rescue several people who tried to kayak down fast-moving, swollen rivers <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/rivers-are-rising-michigan-communities-brace-flooding">during record flooding this spring in Michigan</a>. Officials repeatedly warned people to stay out of the waters.</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdi-YG7mghM</p><p>There’s this video online with four guys on jet skis during the record flood of the Grand River this spring. They jump over flooded playground equipment; duck real low to fit under bridges. It looked like a lot fun, but it’s probably not the brightest idea safety-wise.</p><p>State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) says emergency responders had enough on their plate at that time.</p><p>“We want to make sure that their lives aren’t put unnecessarily in jeopardy by going to have to rescue somebody who is doing thrill-seeking behavior or acting in an extremely reckless manner,” Dillon said. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 12:55:44 +0000 Lindsey Smith 13179 at http://michiganradio.org 'Thrill seekers' in emergency situations would pay for their own rescue under new bills In this morning's news: Chrysler recall, disaster declaration in MI, Detroit Zoo and DIA saved http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-chrysler-recall-disaster-declaration-mi-detroit-zoo-and-dia-saved <p><strong>Chrysler waves the white flag</strong></p><p>Chrysler is now <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/chrysler-officials-change-their-minds-will-go-forward-jeep-recall">agreeing to recall </a>some 2.7 million older model Jeeps. At first, Chrysler refused to recall the cars and the company maintains the vehicles are not defective. Safety regulators say 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty Vehicles can catch on fire when they're rear-ended. The design flaw has killed 51 people in fiery crashes.</p><p><strong>Michigan counties will receive disaster relief </strong></p><p>President Obama has <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/president-signs-disaster-declaration-16-michigan-counties-hard-hit-spring-floods">approved a disaster declaration</a> for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods. The declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. This does not include assistance for individuals or businesses. State and federal agencies will soon hold briefings across the state to help communities understand and start the application process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Detroit Zoo and the DIA are safe</strong></p><p>Legislation was signed into law yesterday allowing the<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/new-laws-will-protect-dia-and-detroit-zoo-millage-funding"> Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Institute of Arts</a> to get millions of dollars in tax revenues as promised from the metro region. Several metro cities were skimming some of the revenue generated by multi-county millages voters approved to support the zoo and the museum.</p><p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:11:15 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13124 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Chrysler recall, disaster declaration in MI, Detroit Zoo and DIA saved President signs disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods http://michiganradio.org/post/president-signs-disaster-declaration-16-michigan-counties-hard-hit-spring-floods <p>President Obama has approved a disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Heavy rains in April and May inundated communities across the state.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The president’s disaster declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. The disaster declaration does not include assistance for individuals or businesses.</p><p></p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 23:55:14 +0000 Steve Carmody 13123 at http://michiganradio.org President signs disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods Michigan's governor asks for presidential disaster declaration for counties affected by spring flood http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-governor-asks-presidential-disaster-declaration-counties-affected-spring-flood <p>Gov. Snyder seeks a presidential disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hit hard by floods this spring.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Heavy rains in April and early May led to flooding in many parts of Michigan.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:55:52 +0000 Steve Carmody 12951 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's governor asks for presidential disaster declaration for counties affected by spring flood The week in Michigan politics: Merit Curriculum, Buena Vista, Rogers and FBI, flooding disaster http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-merit-curriculum-buena-vista-rogers-and-fbi-flooding-disaster <p>This week in Michigan politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss possible changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum, finances and teacher layoffs at <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-school-district-out-money-closes-doors-today">Buena Vista </a>schools, the possibility of Michigan Representative Mike Rogers being the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/fbi-agents-want-michigan-congressman-be-bureau-director">next FBI director,</a> and Governor Rick Snyder's declaring that nearly a quarter of Michigan is in a state of<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-declares-flood-related-emergency-19-counties"> disaster </a>from flooding.</p><p> Wed, 08 May 2013 12:20:13 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 12468 at http://michiganradio.org The week in Michigan politics: Merit Curriculum, Buena Vista, Rogers and FBI, flooding disaster Michigan farmers waiting to plant their crops http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-farmers-waiting-plant-their-crops <p>The weather may seem perfect to a lot us right now.</p><p>But not so perfect for farmers, many of whom have yet to plant their spring crops.</p><p>Michigan has been enjoying beautiful sunny skies during the month of May, but the state’s farmers are still waiting for their fields to dry out from April’s heavy showers.</p><p>Fields are so soggy that only about 5% of Michigan’s corn crop has been planted.&nbsp; Compare that with 2012 when 42% of the crop at this time last year.</p><p>“I don’t think we’ve got a lot of nervousness right now,” says Ken Nye, with the Michigan Farm Bureau, “It does mean we’re ….going to compress this thing a little bit…and it does mean that we could be a little bit late before everything gets finishes up depending on the weather from here.”</p><p>Nye says by contrast Michigan’s fruit crops are doing well this year.&nbsp; Especially compared with 2012.&nbsp;&nbsp; More than 90% of Michigan’s tart cherry crop was lost after unusually warm weather in February led the trees to bloom early and more than a dozen freezes between March and May killed it. Tue, 07 May 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 12459 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan farmers waiting to plant their crops Snyder declares flood-related emergency in 19 counties http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-declares-flood-related-emergency-19-counties <p>Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster across much of Michigan due to storm- and flood-related damage. The proclamation makes state resources available to help the weather-stricken areas.</p><p>Governor Snyder had to wait for flood waters to recede so local officials a chance could do preliminary damage assessments. The disaster proclamation covers the cities of Grand Rapids and Ionia in west Michigan, and 19 counties in the western Upper Peninsula, northern lower Michigan and southwest Michigan. The damage was caused by storms and floods that lasted through most of April and into early May.</p><p>The next step is for teams to visit the flood-stricken areas to conduct more detailed reviews, including discussions with renters, homeowners, and business owners who suffered damage. The governor has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be part of those tours. Tue, 07 May 2013 21:26:35 +0000 Rick Pluta 12462 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder declares flood-related emergency in 19 counties In this morning's headlines: GR avoids disaster, marijuana bill, Pelosi says no EM for Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-gr-avoids-disaster-marijuana-bill-pelosi-says-no-em-detroit <p><strong>Grand Rapids flood 3-4 inches away from disaster</strong></p><p>"A National Weather Service water expert says Grand Rapids was 3 to 4 inches of rain short of a disastrous breaching of its flood walls when the Grand River rose to record levels after heavy spring rains. The flooding forced the evacuation of an estimated 1,700 people in the Grand Rapids area and began easing after a forecast heavy rain on April 19 failed to materialize," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Proposed legislation would lessen penalties for marijuana possession </strong></p><p>"Legislation pending in the Michigan House would lessen penalties for people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. The measure makes possession of one ounce of marijuana a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Pelosi says Detroit doesn't need an emergency manager</strong></p><p>"Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi took a swipe at the appointment of Detroit's emergency manager last night during a speech in Detroit. The House Democratic Leader said there doesn't need to be anyone else 'running the city of Detroit,'" the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:26:43 +0000 Emily Fox 12314 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: GR avoids disaster, marijuana bill, Pelosi says no EM for Detroit More than 1,000 still displaced after record setting Grand River flood http://michiganradio.org/post/more-1000-still-displaced-after-record-setting-grand-river-flood <p>Thousands of people affected by a <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/rivers-are-rising-michigan-communities-brace-flooding">record flood </a>of the Grand River are still coming to terms with the losses. Today the river is<a href="http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=grr&amp;gage=gdrm4&amp;hydro_type=0"> expected to finally dip below the flood stage </a>in Grand Rapids.</p><p><strong>Flood comes strong and fast</strong></p><p>The flood got real a week ago today. On Thursday, April 18<sup>th</sup>, more than three inches of rain fell in one day, <a href="https://nwschat.weather.gov/p.php?pid=201304190555-KGRR-SXUS73-RERGRR">blowing away the 1939 record </a>of a mere inch and a half. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:05:20 +0000 Lindsey Smith 12282 at http://michiganradio.org More than 1,000 still displaced after record setting Grand River flood 150 allowed home after flooding in Kent County http://michiganradio.org/post/150-allowed-home-after-flooding-kent-county <p>GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Officials say about 150 people who were evacuated from homes in Kent County because of flooding have been allowed to return home.</p><p>Kent County spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante says those allowed home by around midday Wednesday are among nearly 700 officials believe are evacuated. She says officials want to make sure homes are inspected before people return and utility crews restore power and natural gas service.</p><p>The Kent County number doesn't include about 1,000 people evacuated from downtown Grand Rapids' Plaza Towers because of the rain-swollen Grand River.</p><p>LaPlante says it could be weeks before Kent County officials have estimates of the financial cost of the flooding damage in the area.</p><p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:05:32 +0000 The Associated Press 12273 at http://michiganradio.org 150 allowed home after flooding in Kent County Grand Rapids officials looking ahead to next big storm http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-officials-looking-ahead-next-big-storm <p>The Grand River hit a record high level in Grand Rapids over the weekend.&nbsp; Volunteers spent hours filling sandbags to protect homes and city buildings.</p><p>City managers are still dealing with the flood waters. But they’re also planning for future storms.</p><p>Haris Alibasic directs Grand Rapids’ Office of Energy and Sustainability.</p><p>“Given the more intense and more frequent, intense rain events we’re probably going to be experiencing, as climate change is anticipated to really have a serious impact in the Midwest," he says.</p><p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 14:36:24 +0000 Rebecca Williams 12245 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids officials looking ahead to next big storm In this morning's news: education work groups, floods receding, trust fund off-limits for dredging http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-education-work-groups-floods-receding-trust-fund-limits-dredging <p><strong>Mike Flanagan announces public work group on education</strong><br><br>Mike Flanagan, the state's superintendent, announced the formation of his own public education work group at Governor Snyder's education summit in East Lansing yesterday. His announcement comes days after a Detroit News <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130419/SCHOOLS/304190361">report</a> uncovered a secret work group that included top aides to Governor Snyder and private sector representatives. Flanagan says the secret group&nbsp; should be disbanded.<br><br><strong>Flooding in Grand Rapids is receding</strong><br><br>After the worst flood on record, Grand Rapids city officials are relieved that the Grand River is finally receding.<br><br>"There’s rain in forecast for Tuesday so conditions could change. But the National Weather Service predicts the river will go down as much as a foot per day until it gets back to normal levels on Thursday," Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-river-reaches-peak-floodwaters-remain">reports.</a><br><br><strong>Schuette says trust fund money off-limits for dredging</strong><br><br>"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says a trust fund for land purchases and improvements can't be used for harbor dredging. Schuette's opinion released Monday found that dredging is upkeep and can't be paid for with Natural Resources Trust Fund money...The Republican's opinion is considered binding unless reversed by the courts," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:30:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12247 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: education work groups, floods receding, trust fund off-limits for dredging Jet Skiers let it rip on the flooded Grand River (VIDEO) http://michiganradio.org/post/jet-skiers-let-it-rip-flooded-grand-river-video <p>So much for the "no contact" order from the health department.</p><p>These guys suited up and went places they normally can't go:</p><p>http://youtu.be/fdi-YG7mghM</p><p>One commenter asks "<em>That's pretty awesome, but isn't the water disgusting?</em>"</p><p>Looks like the fun outweighed the "disgusting" in this case.</p><p><em>H/T Dustin Dwyer</em> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:41:28 +0000 Mark Brush 12240 at http://michiganradio.org Jet Skiers let it rip on the flooded Grand River (VIDEO) Grand River reaches peak, but floodwaters remain http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-river-reaches-peak-floodwaters-remain <p><strong>Update 5:38 p.m.</strong></p><p>Grand Rapids city officials are feeling a “sense of relief” now that the Grand River is receding.</p><p>But Mayor George Heartwell hesitated to declare victory over the worst flood on record, just yet.</p><p>“We will continue to be vigilant even though the worst is behind us,” Heartwell said.</p><p>There’s rain in forecast for Tuesday, so conditions could change. But the National Weather Service predicts the river will go down as much as a foot per day until it gets back to normal levels on Thursday.</p><p>That’s good news for riverfront hotels and businesses which are still pumping water out of their basements and parking garages.</p><p>City Manager Greg Sundstrom says the city has spent between $300,000 and $500,000 so far in overtime pay and equipment. But Heartwell says it's paid off.</p><p>“Because we were proactive we were able to weather this storm,” Heartwell said. After several days in a row of press conferences to update the media about the flooding, Heartwell hopes Monday’s conference will be the last for a while.</p><p>“There’s a sense of relief,” Heartwell said, “I am so incredibly proud of this community and the way it responded to this threat.”</p><p>Businesses and residents in communities along the Grand River, from Ionia to Grand Haven, are still drying out basements and assessing the damage.</p><p>On Monday crews carefully moved large debris stuck to the side of the Fulton Street bridge. They guide it underneath the bridge and four high voltage transmission lines.</p><p>Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern watched a small crane pull a 20-foot-tall dead tree out of the water.</p><p>“It’s huge! And then I don’t know how they’re going to – I’m not an engineer but you get to a point that thing is going to be too heavy for that crane to pick up,” Morgenstern said, “It’s amazing what mother nature is sending down the river for us.”</p><p></p><p><strong>Update 3:33 p.m.</strong></p><p>Michigan Radio’s Dustin Dwyer traveled to Lowell, Michigan today to get a first-hand look at the damage there. <a href="http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kent_county/flood-waters-receding-in-lowell">WOOD-TV</a> reports Lowell was “among the hardest hit West Michigan cities.”</p><p>The Grand River peaked at 19.02 feet yesterday at 8:45 a.m. It was just a hair over its previous record of 19.00 feet set back in 1948.</p><p>Dwyer spoke with Matthew Silverman of Lowell who owns around 20 acres of land in the area – most of it was underwater.</p><p>Silverman said water was flowing into his basement and he lost his boiler and water heater.<br><br>“A couple of the houses down the street, they got inundated... A couple of the people didn't even have flood insurance, so they're going to be hurt pretty bad,” said Silverman.<br><br>“Nobody was shocked. Everybody was prepared. Everybody was working really hard.... We had a constant flow of people just coming up, 'Do you need help with anything, what do you need?'” he said.<br><br>Silverman said the town became a gathering place for onlookers trying to experience the high waters.</p><p>“People were launching boats out of my flower bed the other day, with no regard for any private property. They were paddling right over the top of my fence - hitting my fence,” he said.<br><br>Silverman said the steady stream of kayakers and the thousands of onlookers on foot and in cars has been a little stressful.</p><p>“I mean, it's hard when you're working 24 hours a day, trying to keep your house above water, trying to help your neighbors out and you got people walking through your yard without permission, taking pictures of your house, walking into your backyard,” Silverman said.</p><p><strong>12:45 p.m.</strong></p><p>The Courtyard Marriott and Plaza Towers Condominiums in downtown Grand Rapids were evacuated this past Saturday morning. The hotel is expected to be shutdown until Wednesday, no word yet on when Plaza Towers residents can return.</p><p>Here's what happened, according to <a href="http://www.plazatowerscondominiums.com/">the Plaza Towers' website</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The weight of the water from the swollen river found a way to push upward and break the slab floor in the N corner of the hotel basement parking area. Above that area is the retail parking lot. Our structure is not believed to be damaged or impacted in any way.</p></blockquote><p>The water poured into the basement which led to an immediate shutdown of electricity and the evacuation.</p><p>Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports hotels and office buildings in downtown Grand Rapids along the Grand River are still pumping water out of their basements. She says the river is "expected to hit record levels downstream today in cities like Grandville, while upstream in Lowell and Ionia people are assessing the damage."</p><p><strong>11:05 a.m.</strong></p><p>Small creeks and streams around West and mid-Michigan hit their crests late last week. As they emptied out, they filled the mainstem rivers. Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:40:50 +0000 Mark Brush 12229 at http://michiganradio.org Grand River reaches peak, but floodwaters remain Stateside for Monday, April 22nd, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-april-22nd-2013 <p>On today's show: the future of education in Michigan.</p><p>Governor Snyder has said he believes too much emphasis is&nbsp; put on four-year degrees in our state.</p><p>Today, we take a look at the requirements to graduate high school in Michigan.</p><p>And billionaire and founder of Quicken Loans Dan Gilbert has a vision for reviving downtown Detroit, but what does Gilbert's "Opportunity Detroit" plan really mean for the city and its residents?</p><p>And it's been a challenging few days in terms of rain and flooding through much of Michigan.<br><br>In the Lansing area, the Red Cedar River has caused flooding on Michigan State University's campus, leaving some athletic fields waterlogged. This weekend the Lansing Marathon had to be rerouted along the Lansing river trail because of high water levels.<br>&nbsp;<br>Residents in the Saginaw area are also seeing flooding from the Saginaw River. Over the weekend, officials opened a middle school in&nbsp; Saginaw Township as a shelter due to flooding in the area. And flooding closed some area roads, and people were encouraged to avoid crossing roadways covered by water.<br>&nbsp;<br>Meanwhile, water levels have lowered in the Midland area, which had been hit by flooding of the Tittabawassee River.<br><br>And Grand Rapids is still coping with the aftermath of flooding that hit downtown hotels, stores and businesses. We spoke with Michigan Radio's west Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith. Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:21:10 +0000 Stateside Staff 12238 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, April 22nd, 2013 The 7 rivers in Michigan flooding right now http://michiganradio.org/post/7-rivers-michigan-flooding-right-now <p>We're hearing a lot of news about flooding rivers around the state, but which rivers are above flood stage right now?</p><p><a href="http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=grr">The National Weather Service has a handy map</a> that displays stream gauges from the USGS (United States Geological Survey).</p><p>Here's what it shows now:</p><p><strong>Rivers experiencing major to moderate flooding:</strong></p><ul><li>Grand River at several locations</li><li>Saginaw River at Saginaw</li></ul><p><strong>Rivers experiencing minor flooding:</strong></p><ul><li>Muskegon River</li><li>Maple River</li><li>Grand River</li><li>Thornapple River</li><li>Red Cedar River</li><li>St. Joseph River</li></ul><p>These stream gauges represent your tax dollars at work, and<a href="http://streamstatsags.cr.usgs.gov/ThreatenedGages/ThreatenedGages.html"> the USGS wants you to know</a> that some of these gauges around the country will be idled because your tax dollars will no longer be at work.</p><p>So far, only one gauge in the western UP is at risk because of the budget cuts. Mon, 22 Apr 2013 15:40:36 +0000 Mark Brush 12230 at http://michiganradio.org The 7 rivers in Michigan flooding right now In this morning's headlines: Flooding, welfare targeted bills, Lansing marathon http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-flooding-welfare-targeted-bills-lansing-marathon <p><strong>Grand River crests in Grand Rapids, thousands evacuated from flooding</strong></p><p>The Grand River has crested in Grand Rapids. As Lindsey Smith<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/rivers-are-rising-michigan-communities-brace-flooding"> reports,</a></p><p>"Grand Rapids remains under a state of emergency because of significant damage to a number of buildings in the downtown area [from the flooding]. It’s estimated around 1,000 residents in mid and west Michigan have been evacuated from their homes."</p><p><strong>Bills that target welfare recipients being considered in the state House</strong></p><p>"Low-income Michigan families would have to take drug tests and make sure their children don't miss too much school to qualify for some welfare benefits, under legislation in the state House," the Associated Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130421/NEWS06/304210158/DFP-Michigan-lawmakers-back-changes-to-welfare-benefits">reports. </a></p><p><strong>Flooding, Boston bombings and freezing temperatures didn't stop Lansing marathon</strong></p><p>"Sub-freezing temperatures, tight security and a course rerouted to avoid a flooded section of the Lansing River Trail all failed to stop the Lansing Marathon. Lansing's temperature stood at 28 degrees at the race's 8 a.m. start yesterday as participants honored the victims of last Monday's Boston Marathon bombing," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Emily Fox 12227 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Flooding, welfare targeted bills, Lansing marathon Rivers are rising, Michigan communities brace for flooding http://michiganradio.org/post/rivers-are-rising-michigan-communities-brace-flooding <p><em>This post was updated as we learned news related to the rising waters in West and mid-Michigan. To see how events unfolded from Friday through Sunday night, scroll down and read up.</em></p><p><em>To read about current news related to the flooding, see <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/grand-river-reaches-peak-floodwaters-remain">this new post</a>.</em></p><p><strong>Sunday, April 21st, 9:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>At nearly 22 feet, Michigan’s longest river is very near where the <a href="http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/river.php?wfo=grr&amp;wfoid=18702&amp;riverid=204044&amp;pt%5B%5D=143112&amp;allpoints=141637%2C142381%2C142230%2C143200%2C143202%2C141240%2C144751%2C142883%2C142191%2C144291%2C143112%2C150294&amp;data%5B%5D=all">National Weather Service is predicting </a>it will crest in Grand Rapids. The Grand River’s flood stage there is 18 feet.</p><p>City officials were confident the waste water treatment plant (that serves around a dozen other neighboring communities) will make it through the night, thanks in part to a massive sandbag wall lining the perimeter.</p><p>Over the weekend the city moved around $3 million dollars in equipment that’s not needed for the emergency to drier locations, just in case.</p><p>The flooding means the plant is processing more than triple the usual amount of water. Over the last three days, the city says the plant has treated 150 million gallons of water a day, compared to an average of 42 million gallons a day.</p><p>People are still being asked to conserve water; take shorter showers, hold off on washing laundry and dishes.</p><p>“We expect to be safe through the night,” the city’s Environmental Services Manager Mike Lunn said in a <a href="http://grcity.us/Media%20Release/Media%20Release-Tour%20of%20Wastewater%20T.%20Plant.pdf">written statement</a>.</p><p>“The combined performance of our flood walls, our pumps, professional staff, and volunteers has been truly amazing. We must, however, continue to be diligent in monitoring the situation,” Lunn said.</p><p>The city is no longer calling on people to help fill and move sandbags, for now.</p><p>“I can’t possibly imagine what else we could do to react to this situation,” Mayor George Heartwell said, “We realize that things could change dramatically in the next few days with more rain or if issues associated with structures – such as buildings, walls, or bridges - arise.”</p><p>The crest will head to Grandville soon, where the city library is now taking on some water in the basement.</p><p>In Lowell, upstream from Grand Rapids, the water is already beginning to recede. There’s been very limited access into the city, with a number of bridges closed. But <a href="http://ci.lowell.mi.us/default.aspx?tabid=96&amp;mid=721&amp;newsid721=1002">the barricades are predicted to move</a> off Main Street before the Monday morning commute.</p><p><strong>Sunday 4:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>Electricity is being rerouted in Grand Rapids because of the flooded Grand River.</p><p>Officials from Consumers Energy said Sunday there are four high voltage distribution lines that run just under the Fulton Street bridge.</p><p>The water is high enough there's a concern that big trees or other debris floating down the river could snag the lines and cause safety concerns so they’ve de-energeized the lines. Electrical services have not been impacted because of the move.</p><p>Once the river recedes they’ll reopen the bridge. But officials couldn’t estimate how long that will be.</p><p>The Grand River is expected to crest Monday around 2 a.m. at 22.3 feet.</p><p>At a press conference Sunday afternoon Mayor George Heartwell thanked the hundreds of volunteers who’ve been filling and stockpiling 6,000 sandbags an hour over the weekend. He called for more volunteers this afternoon and evening.</p><p>“Even though we’re the most incredible volunteering city in the world, we need more,” Heartwell said, “Please help us protect our city.”</p><p>City-owned buildings have already been lined with the bags. So the 50,000 that remain are primarily for residents and business owners who need then, “or the possibility that the skies open up again this week, we get a ton of rain and we get a resurgence of these levels.”</p><p>Rain is in the forecast as early as Tuesday.</p><p>Michigan’s second largest city remains under a state of emergency because of significant property damage to a number of buildings in the downtown area.</p><p>It’s estimated that around a thousand residents in mid and west Michigan have been evacuated from their homes. Some have already been able to return.</p><p><strong>Sunday 11:10 a.m.</strong> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:30:49 +0000 Mark Brush & Lindsey Smith 12215 at http://michiganradio.org Rivers are rising, Michigan communities brace for flooding