Mecosta County dispatch has confirmed to 7&4 News that a large number of residents are still not allowed to return to their homes.
They say six roads are still closed in the area near the flooding. Two main roads of concern include 160th Avenue north of 21 Mile Road and 10th Avenue north of 11 Mile Road.
As of 12:45 pm Thursday, the Muskegon River in Newaygo County is just below flood stage at 8.84 feet. Flood stage is at 9 feet.
The National Weather Service Office in Grand Rapids says rivers and stream in the area have peaked and water levels will begin to slowly recede over the next few days.
Minor flooding is expected downstream of Newaygo on Riverview Drive in Bridgeton Township and Pepperidge in Ashland Township.
Levels are rising rapidly along the Muskegon upstream from Roger Heights to Big Rapids.
Local Emergency Management officials are monitoring the situation and advise property owners in the area to monitor river levels closely and evacuate if necessary.
Newaygo County Emergency Operations Center is asking those who are evacuating to take the following steps:
- Collect only essential items to take with you including prescription medications.
- Close and lock all doors and windows
- Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances including microwaves. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
- Take all family members and pets with you.
- If you have transportation, offer assitance to your neighbors.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts, they may be blocked.
- Be alert for washed out roads and bridges. Do not drive into water covering the road of flooded areas and stay away from downed power lines
- Continue monitoring your radio for additional information.
It is not unusual for ice jams to cause river levels to fluctuate by several feet in a short period of time.