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Kalamazoo closes roads as steady rain causes flooding

Radar image shows green, orange and blue shapes swirling over a map of west Lower Michigan, northern Indiana and northwest Ohio
Still image
National Weather Service radar
An image from the National Weather Service Radar on the morning of July 10.

A variety of flood advisories, watches and warnings were in effect in Southwest Michigan on Wednesday morning.

It's come down in trickles. It's come down in torrents. At one rate or another, two to four inches of rain fell on the Kalamazoo area from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning at 6:00 am, according to the National Weather Service.

The rain brought by the remnants of Hurricane Beryl has caused floods including in downtown Kalamazoo. As another one to three inches could fall before the rain lets up this evening, the flood risk continues "from areas near and south of Interstate 96 especially," the NWS warned.

City of Kalamazoo Public Services Director James Baker said in a statement Tuesday that crews would work through the night to clear drains, and that it had staged water-rescue equipment.

On its Facebook page Wednesday, the city noted streets that are closed downtown:

- East Crosstown Pkwy between Mills Street and South Pitcher Street

- Forest St between South Park Street and South Rose Street

- Eastbound Howard Street between Merrill Street and West Crosstown Parkway

"The City of Kalamazoo is asking that everyone exercise caution during their evening and morning commutes, try to avoid flood-prone areas, and never move or drive around barricades," Baker wrote Wednesday.

"Anyone who encounters flood water while walking or driving should stop and find another route. Community members also should contact friends and family members who may be at risk of potential flooding," he added.

Consumers Energy reported scattered outages Wednesday morning. Its outage map showed about 20,000 customers without as of 10 a.m.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.