Recreational use of Grand River discouraged due to flooding

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The Grand River crested on Saturday, April 8 at a height of 18.86 ft.

The City of Grand Rapids is discouraging recreational use of the Grand River within its boundaries through at least the end of this week. Anglers and those using watercraft are advised to stay away from the Grand’s rising, swift-running waters until it recedes to normal flow.

City of Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman

Fire Chief John Lehman said this public safety warning is expressed to keep the community and emergency response personnel safe from rising waters.

“While the City is well-positioned to manage rising water levels, I want the public to know that the Grand Rapids Fire Department cannot adequately utilize its in-water rescue resources during high water events,” Lehman said. “Swift running and high levels of water under Grand River bridges prevent safe clearance for boat usage.”

Those enjoying the outdoors also are warned that sections and some trails in Ah-Nab-Awen, Fish Ladder and Riverside parks may be closed due to flooding. City leaders appreciate the community’s cooperation in avoiding those flooded areas and not entering the river.

Lehman also assured the public that flooding in the downtown area is not expected due to the series of flood wall improvements the City made since 2013. Those new wall enhancements prevent flooding downtown for river levels up to 23 feet.

According to the U.S. Geological Service, the Grand River crested at 18.86 ft at 11:45 p.m., Saturday, April 8.

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