Flood Watch issued as heavy rain on its way

Significant rises and flooding are forecasted on several area rivers late this week due to heavy rain and melting snow

The National Weather Service Offices in Gaylord and Grand Rapids have issued a Flood Watch for every county in our viewing area except Luce County through Saturday morning as melting snow and incoming rounds of heavy rain will lead to flooding concerns.

Newaygo County has issued a local state of emergency and executive order closing down all townshop and county owned river access on the Muskegon River in the county.

The following roads will also be closed:

-72nd at Pine in Croton Township

-Timberview at Thornapple in Brooks Township

-Sarrell at Bridge Street in the City of Newaygo

-Felch north of 96th in Garfield Township

-Main Street and Turner Ave in Bridgeton Township

As of 11:30 a.m., the Muskegon River was at 9.4 feet. Flood stage is considered to be 9 feet.

A moisture rich storm system over the Great Plains will lift across the area over the next few days leading to rounds of heavy rain through at least midday Friday.

There are a few trends developing with what appears to be the heaviest rain most likely to fall along/south of highway M-72 starting Wednesday evening. Total rainfall in this region which includes Houghton Lake, Ludington, Big Rapids and Clare could exceed 2-3" of rain with locally higher totals possible over a two to three day period. Further north, while rain will fall, totals will be a little bit less with up to an inch possible.

Melting snow along with recent rain has left the ground in spots saturated, so any rain will channel into local creeks and streams and into larger rivers which are already near bankfull. Some rivers of note that we are monitoring closely for significant rises late this week and flooding include the Muskegon, the Manistee, the Au Sable, the Pere Marquette, the Rifle River and the Boardman River along with others in this drainage area. Even those not near rivers and streams could certainly see some lowland flooding as this event unfolds.

The 7&4 Storm Team is monitoring this closely and will have the very latest on any flooding or warnings.