Kalamazoo County Emergency Management warns of potential ice jams, flooding

Kalamazoo County Emergency Management warns of potential ice jams, flooding. (WWMT/Matt Miller)

Kalamazoo County Emergency Management warned community members of a potential ice jam threat along the Kalamazoo River.

Director Mark Corfman said that widespread flooding wasn't expected, but if ice jams occurred that flooding could happen in low-lying places.

"Usually those are in areas where the river will to from pretty wide and narrows down. There's some areas around the Kalamazoo River where there's shape bends. There are some areas around the county that water can come up pretty fast and run into people's backyards," Corfman said.

Lisa Anderson, who had worked at Niko's Express in Comstock for seven years, said flooding and ice jams have not been an issue for them, but had been an issue for many of their neighbors and customers.

Andreson said especially in Merrill Park, which sets on the other side of the Kalamazoo River from Niko's Express.

"The area kids go to play. Play soccer and basketball and they literally can't use it because they'll be standing in the river," Anderson said.

The Kalamazoo Growlers have experienced flooding in the past and Director of Ballpark Operations Christian VanEss said they prepared in advance.

"Last year it happened twice. In February and May about two weeks before the season started. Hopefully it doesn't happen again right now, but we're ready if it does."

Corman said since it's not easy to predict where an ice jam will occur he suggested everyone keep an eye on water levels and the weather forecast.

"We're going to get a lot of rain or snow melt. That, combined with the ground, we typically know when we'll have flooding issues except for the ice jams. Those happen out of nowhere," he said.

If you see ice jams or flooding let the Kalamazoo County Emergency Management know by contacting them on their website or call them at 269-383-8743.

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