Flooding leading to headaches, debris along lakeshore
Updated: Tuesday, April 23 2013, 07:07 PM EDT
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Flooding in Ottawa County is leading to headaches for those along the lakeshore.
The DNR has been working all day Tuesday to help clean up the mess left by the floodwaters.
Now, with just a month until the official start of beach season, they've got their work cut out for them--the debris just keeps coming, and isn't expected to stop anytime soon.
The scenic shoreline at Grand Haven State Park has been swamped with what Grand Rapids floodwater took with it.
The receding Grand River is pushing more than just water into Lake Michigan, and it's now turning up on shore.
"The piles are really tall, and just the amount of debris is pretty remarkable," observed Mary Jo Boletto, who has lived in Grand Haven for 29 years.
Those out on the beach Tuesday couldn't believe what was floating in.
"Bathroom fixtures, things like that have washed up," Boletto explained.
"I found a picnic table, some random stuff, some shoes, some caulk that people were using to patch up holes in their house," offered Holland resident Stephen Sherwood.
The DNR has been combing the beach, working to pull out the garbage and forming large piles out of Mother Nature's mess.
But with only six on staff, the team just finished combing the beach for the summer season--and now they're overwhelmed by the amount of work still ahead.
"It'll be several weeks," said Joyce Rhodes, with the DNR at Grand Haven State Park. "We only have a small dump truck and we have to haul it all out."
Rhodes told Newschannel 3 that while the flood is over for many in West Michigan, for this beach, it's just the beginning.
The DNR says they'll have clean-up complete before the Kite Festival in mid-May.
However, the process is one that will be ongoing, with debris expected to be washing up through the summer.