Body found in floodwaters; river levels drop

Detroit News staff and Associated Press

Kalamazoo — Southwest Michigan authorities say they found the body of a man in floodwaters. Elsewhere, river levels were dropping in the Lansing area after flooding prompted evacuations.

Kalamazoo Public Safety Lt. David Thomas said the body of a 48-year-old man was found floating in water Sunday on the city’s east side. He said the medical examiner, detectives and others have been on the scene working to determine who the man was, what he was doing there and the cause of death.

Thomas says the death doesn’t appear suspicious.

Thomas said the area saw significant flooding. Kalamazoo has been among the areas hard hit by flooding from last week’s heavy rains and melting snow.

In the Lansing area, river levels were dropping after flooding neighborhoods and parts of Michigan State University, including parking lots, roads and athletic fields. The city remained under a state of emergency, however, the Mayor’s Office reported Sunday, but the city amended the recommended evacuation order to allow residents to return to their homes “if it’s accessible.”

The National Weather Service said the Grand River should drop to 11 feet by Monday after peaking at 14.6 feet Friday. The Red Cedar River, which flows through MSU, reached more than 10 feet Thursday but should fall to 7 feet by Monday night.

Michael Tobin, emergency management chief at the Lansing Fire Department, said some neighborhoods still could see days of high water. Hundreds of homes and businesses were affected by rising water, the Lansing State Journal reported.

On Sunday, Mayor Andy Schor’s office reported no “major street closures” remained due to flooding. The barrier at Kalamazoo Street and U.S. 127 had “dramatically reduced the flooding effects in (the) Urbandale neighborhood” and the highway has reopened, Schor said in a release. Also, Pennsylvania Avenue at Potter Park Zoo “has been swept for debris” and has reopened, he said.

In Grand Rapids, the Grand River could crest at roughly 21 feet, the second-highest level on record in the city. The Kent County health department warned residents to avoid contact with the water because of possible contaminants.

Recreational use of the Grand River is prohibited in Grand Rapids.