Newaygo County Approves Grants for New Flood Warning System

A new flood mapping and warning system is coming to flood-prone areas of Newaygo County.

County Commissioners approved nearly $240,000 in Federal and local grants to implement the new system for 35 miles of the Muskegon River.

 It’s in an area that’s had millions of dollars in flood damage since the 1960’s.

Only a few other areas of the state have this flood warning system from the U.S. Geological Survey. Using grant money, Newaygo County will install two new gauges along the Muskegon River, giving them real time mapping of flooding.

“It will allow residence to go online and be able to zoom down to their home and see what their flood impacts are going to be. They will visually be able to see, based on the water depth, and level what the impact could be at their home,” said Abby Watkins, Director of Emergency

It will also help emergency crews know right away where flooding will be the worst.

“One of the difficulties we’ve had in previously flooding events is we weren’t able to give pinpoint target notification to homeowners. Now, we’ll actually have a data set and we’ll hopefully be able to respond much quicker and get the help where it’s really needed,” said Watkins.

It’s a new tool those living along the Muskegon River are excited to have at their fingertips.

“I think it would be perfect knowing that we live so close to the bridge. I think that would help a lot seeing as how the Croton isn’t too far up the hill,” said Margaret Gramdon.  

The county hopes to have the new gauges installed by spring.