Pure Michigan: Waterworld

RIVER_49

Welcome to Waterworld!

Water. Water everywhere! While many things have been occupying the eyes of the nation this week (and rightly so–many tugs of the heartstrings have gone to many corners of the U.S. these past few days), but locally, nature has been at the forefront of things.

Michigan, my home, is a land of water. It surrounds us. It pierces into the very heart of our state in its many rivers, lakes, and ponds. This is, truly, the Great Lakes State. Yet this week the state has been rocked by record rainfall. The end result: flooding. Massive flooding. And when I say record-breaking, don’t mistake me: the Grand River, in western Michigan, was predicted to hit a 24.76 foot crest today. Compare that to previous floodings here, as listed from the Grand Rapids Press

24.76 feet on April 21, 2013**
19.64 feet on March 1, 1985
19.54 feet on May 27, 2004
19.50 feet on March 28, 1904
19.29 feet on March 8, 1976
19.25 feet on April 3, 1960
19.25 feet on September. 4, 1986
18.83 feet on March 3, 1982
18.60 feet on June 9, 1905
18.5 feet on April 18, 2013
17.87 feet on February 25, 1997
17.84 feet on December 31, 2008

Flooding is not new here, but bloody hell, this one takes the cake. Large swaths of the city of Grand Rapids and western Michigan are going underwater. To prove that point, I took a little photographic adventure. Here are just a few things to show you what we’re dealing with up here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Barreling through.

Barreling through.

No walkway for you.

No walkway for you.

RIVER_65

At least the cops get to bust out their boats!

At least the cops get to bust out their boats!

Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

Under the Sea.

Under the Sea.

 

Kayak business? Probably booming.

Kayak business? Probably booming.

It was such a pretty house, too.

It was such a pretty house, too.

Beach? What beach?

Beach? What beach?

And the real kicker? More rain is expected to come…

The Morning After

Shoveled my whole drive at midnight, and it still looked like this in the morning.

Not a plow in sight.

This is the second part, the conclusion, to what shall henceforth be known as “The Snowpocalypse” Photo Essay for good old Lansing, Michigan.

All of the following are from the morning after the storm. Things were still flaking around then, but nothing more really accumulated.

By this point in the day, snow plows hadn’t yet arrived in the suburbs, though I had shoveled my own property out in the trench-style warfare you find common to Michigan winters (yes, it’s like we’re planning for war against the Yetis. They asked for it).

What kid wouldn't love those hills?

While Lansing and East Lansing’s main streets were plowed…

Major streets, like Coolidge Road, were well-plowed.

Fane looks on this new Winter wonderland with promise.

…some places in the ‘burbs, like my own, didn’t see snow plows until as late as 9 p.m.

Suffice to say, it made for some interesting travel arrangements for some of those among us sans SUVs. I know my old Taurus never would have made it. Fortunately, it’s long since been dispatched to a better place.

What's that in the distance?

At some point tomorrow I’ll probably try and compile all of these, as well as the photos from the night previous, into a nice and tidy sound slides photo essay presentation for you all, with music and everything.

Feeling ambitious, you see.

Now we just have to hope that WordPress decides to play along with my noble intentions.

Despite the tracks, a lot of cars struggled through this.

Winter in Michigan.

Yeah. I don't think he was going anywhere.

It's a nice little park.

A Cold Winter’s Night

Silent Night, Snowy Night in Full Swing.

I’m sure you all heard the hype this week: Snow. Snow! SNOW!

Where's all the snow? Flash is off, silly.

It was on everyone’s lips – at least across the Midwest. Even Twitter succumbed to a frenzy of fun names for it: “Snowpocalypse,” “Snomageddon,” “Snowprah’s Big Giveaway,” and the like. Weather.com predicted up to 16 inches rolling across my own fair section of Michigan for Tuesday and Wednesday, with biting winds and a freezing helping of ice to go along with it. MSU declared a weather emergency and canceled classes. LCC followed suit. And all across the state schools were closing left and right they day before the snow ever touched ashore.

There's the snow!

It’s rule one they teach you in JRN 200: Beware of hype. Now, that’s not to say we didn’t get a good deal of snow. We did. Ten inches. But it was far from the end-times the news and internet community seemed to be wrapped up in the concept of. Besides: it’s Michigan. It snows here. I don’t know about how the rest of you Mid-Westerners fared but up here, well, sure it got nasty, but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Nor am I opposing the end results…I mean, hey, they want to give my friends a day off and give the student body of MSU even more reasons to drink (like they need any), I mean, hey, who am I to object?

I’m just saying: Don’t go crying wolf till he’s in the pen, alright?

Regardless, I took the opportunity to grab some fine pictures to commemorate the occasion. They’re broken down into night of and morning after. For you Michiganders, it’ll probably be a bit of nostalgia. For those of you non-Michiganders, it’ll give you a nice idea of what we deal with. And why we’re unimpressed when other states start declaring emergencies in the midst of an inch or two of snowfall.

This photographic journey is hosted in part by Fane the Wonder Dog. I know, it’s quite a title.

Okay, so there were some bad moments.