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Fifth annual Rockford Ice Festival considered a success

Fifth annual Rockford Ice Festival considered a success

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Despite the extreme cold, organizers of this year’s Rockford Ice Festival say the event was a success.

This year, they added opening ceremonies, which attracted hundreds of people Friday night.  Even the Grinch came out and made off with the glitz ball, which eventually returned. 

This was also the first year the sculptures were lit up at night. Organizers say 152 people took a carriage ride through town on Friday, as part of the event.  Nearly 50 people took the plunge Saturday for Special Olympics of Michigan. 

The Fire & Ice Chili Cook Off on Saturday raised more than $400 for North Kent Community Services.  Bill McDaniel and Tom Troyanowski of “2 Bad Dads” took the top honors- earning first place from the judges and the People’s Choice award.

Rockford asks residents to clear hydrants

Rockford asks residents to clear hydrants

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Rockford Chief of Public Safety Dave Jones is asking community members to do some extra digging in the snow and clear fire hydrants near their homes.

Jones says he’s heard too many stories this winter from other communities with firefighters who had trouble locating hydrants, losing several critical minutes clearing snow around the hydrants during a fire.

“Because of the unusual amount of snowfall this winter, we are asking residents to come together as a community to help clear snow from hydrants near their home,” said Jones.

Jones says the Public Services Department has been busy clearing roads and intersections this winter, leaving no time or opportunity to help residents with clearing hydrants and sidewalks.

Residents who are not sure of the location of fire hydrants near their home are encouraged to contact the City of Rockford at (616) 866-1537.“Because of the unusual amount of snowfall this winter we are asking residents to come

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Communities impacted by the floods in April have less than a week to file their request for federal disaster money. 

In June, President Obama declared a major disaster in 16 Michigan counties, including Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon and Newaygo. The Small Business Association also issued a disaster declaration this summer.  Both declarations freed up federal assistance for homeowners, local governments and certain non-profits who were forced to clean up.  Homeowners and businesses had until Monday, August 12 to apply for assistance; city officials have until August 17.

The flooding caused $10 million in damage in Kent County alone.  Federal funding would help pay for debris removal and repairs to public property, roads and bridges.

Possible lightning strike leads to bank evacuation

Possible lightning strike leads to bank evacuation

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Firefighters are investigating a possible lightning strike at a bank.

Crews were called to the Huntington Bank on Myers Lake Avenue NE and Belding Road NE around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, after storms rolled through the area.  Kent County dispatchers say the bank was evacuated as smoke filled the facility. 

No one is believed to have been injured.

Flooding expected in low lying areas

Flooding expected in low lying areas

The calendar may say it is spring, but mother nature is delivering a different season.  Kent County residents woke up to snow showers this morning as temperatures hovered in the low to mid 30’s. 

Rain is in the forecast virtually every day in the next week, according to the 13 On Target Weather team.

Rivers and streams in West Michigan will remain high with localized flooding of low lying areas, according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Here are the current river conditions in Kent County.  All readings are from Saturday, April 13:

The Thornapple River in Hastings is close to flood stage.  As of 12:15pm today, the river was at 6.71 feet.  Flood stage is 7 feet.

The Thornapple River in Caledonia was at 8.18 feet at 11:30am today.  Flood stage is 10 feet. 

Downstream in Cascade, the river spilled over its banks just below the Cascade Dam at Tassel Park.

Cannonsburg Ski Area Wraps Up Season

Cannonsburg Ski Area Wraps Up Season

With many of us aching for Spring, Cannonsburg Ski Area has officially ended it's season. But it decided to do it in a fun way... by producing a Harlem Shake video at its Neff Beach Bash.   Take a look. They plan to reopen the next ski season in November.