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National Weather Service: Possible minor flooding on Muskegon River in Newaygo this week

From the US National Weather Service Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hydrologic Outlook:

Widespread rain tonight and continued warm temperatures this week will get water levels rising on the rivers in west Michigan. The Muskegon, White, Pere Marquette, and Chippewa Rivers will rise to around bankfull by the middle of the week, but widespread flooding is not expected at this time. 

The most vulnerable locations are along the Muskegon River in Newaygo and also in Bridgeton. Depending on exactly how much rain falls this afternoon and tonight, both of these locations could crest near flood stage later this week.  

Rivers are expected to rise to bankfull with minor flooding anticipated, but close monitoring will be necessary. Current river forecasts are based on observed and forecast 48 hour precipitation. Additional rainfall expected Thursday night is not included in the following forecast. 
Three USGS River Gauges are used to determine the river levels.  As of 1:30 pm, the Muskegon River near

  • USGS Croton Streamgage was at 6.71 feet with flows at 3,470 cubic feet per second. Flood stage is at 9.0 feet.
  • USGS Newaygo Streamgage was at 8.75 feet with flows at 3,110 cubic feet per second. Flood stage is at 11.0 feet.
  • USGS Bridgeton Streamgage was at 9.65 feet with flows at 3,110 cubic feet per second. Flood stage is at 13.0 feet.  

Based on the current forecast, it is expected to see BANKFUL and MINOR FLOODING on the Muskegon River. The river is forecasted to crest on Thursday, March 12, 2020, with river levels rising to the following:

  • Approximately 8.70 feet at the USGS Croton Streamgage. Flood Stage is 9.0 Feet 
  • Approximately 11.1 feet at the USGS Newaygo Streamgage. Flood Stage is 11.0 Feet
  • Approximately 14.0 feet at the USGS Bridgeton Streamgage. Flood Stage is at 13.0 Feet.

This is similar to the October 2019 and December 2019 flooding events. Reliability of the forecast is based on current and forecasted river, weather and reservoir conditions.

  • Expect standing water in low lying and flood prone areas.
  • Expect MINOR Flooding on the Muskegon River.
  • Anticipate the following areas to be impacted by flood waters on the Muskegon River
    • Leisure Land Subdivision in Bridgeton Township
    • Sycamore Flats in Ashland Township
    • 100th Ave in Ashland Township
    • Old Women’s Bend in Garfield Township
    • Anderson Flat’s in Garfield Township
    • Freight Hill in Bridgeton Township
  • Anticipate Public River Access Sites to be closed if the Muskegon River reaches
    • A height of 10.0 Feet at the USGS Croton Streamgage
    • A height of 13.0 Feet at the USGS Newaygo Streamgage
    • A height of 15.0 Feet at the USGS Bridgeton Streamgage

If you are in the watch area remain alert for rapidly changing water levels and possible flooding. Residents and those with interests near the river should monitor rising water levels and be prepared for possible flood warnings. Don’t wait for an evacuation directive if you feel threatened. Residents within the areas anticipated to be impacted by flood waters may be directed to by public safety personnel to evacuate if a Flood Warning is issued.
Follow these checklists (if time allows) to give you and your home the best chance of surviving a flood.
Inside the House

  • Shut and lock all windows and doors.
  • Gather and elevate important documents, belongings, furniture, and other priceless items including pictures, irreplaceable mementos, and other valuables. 
  • Check your emergency preparedness kit and store supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate. This includes prescription medications.
  • Prepare to unplug appliances and turn off your main breaker in your homes electrical box if you need to evacuate.


  • Gather up items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, grills, etc.).
  • Strap down propane tanks.
  • Prepare to turn off propane tanks if you need to evacuate.
  • Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
  • Don’t wait for an evacuation directive if you feel threatened.
  • Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.


  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Check your emergency preparedness kit for your pets and store supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate.
  • If you need to evacuate, take your pets with you.


  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.


  • ONLY CALL 9-1-1 TO REPORT EMERGENCIES!   Emergency operators and phone lines are needed to support this incident, please continue to monitor Nixle for updates or call 2-1-1 (not 9-1-1) for general safety information.
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED!   Continue monitoring your radio, Nixle, and Newaygo ES’s Facebook Page for additional information.

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