Less snow + more rain = high river

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The Looking Glass River after flooding on March 14. Photo taken by Shane Jones

By Shane Jones
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids announced a flood advisory March 23 affecting Clinton County and the city of DeWitt until March 28, as more rain is forecast for the coming days.

That means people shouldn’t expect the Looking Glass River’s water level in DeWitt to go down any time soon.

As some citizens may have known, last week the Looking Glass River flooded into some of the local parks such as the Riverside Park and the Looking Glass Riverside Park in DeWitt Township. During this time of year when the precipitation is changing from the dreaded snow to the more rainfall.

“The water level is about the same in the river and the parks. With more rain expected this week we will not see the water go down for another couple weeks,” City Administrator Dan Coss said.

According to the United States Geographical Survey website, on March 17, the river reached a height of 5.4 feet. It may not sound like a very high number but the river covers about 71 miles across the state in DeWitt. After a week of mild weather and less rain there was no change in the height of the river.


In the early stages of the spring is when flooding is more of an issue. In DeWitt it is something that has been an issue but an issue that could also be a positive thing. Once the river has flooded, the river can be used for canoeing or fishing. Both things can be done when the river is not flooded but it creates more of a thrill for those who do use the river for those reasons.

Safety is always a thing that the city’s administration will try to tell people when the river has flooded. There are precautions that need to be on the minds of citizens when using the river.

When the river floods into the parks, the bank of the river is no longer visible and can cause for someone to slip in to it. DeWitt’s city’s administration tries to focus on telling those that they see are by the river and with children standing close by.

The next issue is if this will be a very wet spring here in Michigan. If it continues to rain throughout this season, then the river will continue to spill over into the barks and in one case, it may reach South Bridge Street in downtown DeWitt. Last week the river seemed to be very close to reaching the bridge.

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