Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Showers

Things have been... interesting in Grand Rapids this week.  You could say we've had a little rain here - maybe a few more inches than in years past.

It all began a week ago when my friend Molly and I took a trip to the fabric store.  I was happily driving down 28th Street when we encountered this ---->

That would be a flash flood in the center of the road.   Notice that a few cars are almost completely submerged in the water.  Molly was able to get this photo while hanging out the window as we frantically swerved onto a side street to avoid joining those cars.

So that was a weird day.

The rain just kept coming and more lakes began popping up in parking lots (like this one in Grandville) and intersections around the city.
 The Grand River rose steadily, flooding the parks and basements of buildings downtown. On Saturday, Mayor Heartwell declared a state of emergency for Grand Rapids after a bridge or two was washed away and a few neighborhoods were evacuated.  The river became the biggest concern as the water level continued to rise.
Sunday was Free Museum Day, and of course I was there because I love anything free.  On our trek from one museum to the next, we were able to experience this craziness first hand.
Its kind of like a little Venice, but less romantic due to the lack of gondolas and brown water (that may or may not contain raw sewage).

Each spring, the river swells just enough to cover the riverside walkways with a few inches of muddy water. This year, they are completely underwater. The city gave away free sandbags for people to use at their homes and businesses, and asked volunteers to help build sandbag walls around a few buildings close to the river and the water treatment plant.

According to these guys with the stick, the river was eighteen feet higher than normal on Sunday afternoon.

According to the evening news, the river reached its highest point yesterday and the flooding should recede.  I am most curious to see what kind of weird crap will be left behind has the water goes down.  I want to say I'll make some cool driftwood project or something, but honestly...I doubt I'll be brave enough to touch anything.

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