Kalamazoo-area residents are cautioned to anticipate flooding of the Kalamazoo River, which is expected to crest at nine feet late on Thursday, May 17 or early on Friday, May 18.
Between four and five inches of rain has fallen in the Kalamazoo River Watershed area in the past approximately 96 hours. The river level will continue to rise as this rainfall makes its way through the watershed and into the river, despite no additional precipitation in the immediate forecast. Gauges upstream and modeling based on past similar rainfall events indicate a crest of 9 feet.
The pdf attached map (1.37 MB) estimates the area at risk for flooding based on the projected crest and the topography of the area. The National Weather Service forecast for the Kalamazoo River is available at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=grr&gage=CMSM4
City officials expect overall impact to be significantly less than the flood event experienced in February of this year, when the river reached a historic level of 11.69 feet. Some road closures are expected including Vine Street near Upjohn Park, Crosstown Parkway near Sheridan, Dutton Street, and streets in the immediate vicinity of the Crosstown Ponds. Portage Road and the viaduct are expected to remain open.
Properties located in low-lying or flood prone areas may be impacted by flooding, including properties near the Crosstown Ponds, in the Ray Street/Ampersee Avenue area, and the Lakewood Neighborhood in Kalamazoo Township. City of Kalamazoo Public Services staff will make sand bags available at the parking lot of Washington Square Co-op Apartments (710 Collins Street) and at the Edison Neighborhood Association (816 Washington Avenue) at no-cost for community members. Owners and occupants of at-risk properties are encouraged to take precautions to minimize potential damage to their homes and property. Sand bags will be available beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16.Local officials are encouraging community members to reach out to friends and family members who may be at risk to ensure they are aware of the potential for flooding. City officials will continue to monitor the Kalamazoo River and provide updates as needed. Motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid standing water and not to move or drive around barricades.