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A fitting end to a wet 2019: some parts of Michigan enter New Year under flood warning

Source: https://water.weather.gov/precip/
Colors indicate how many inches above or below average for total precipitation in 2019.

Parts of Michigan ended the year under flood advisories, as the state’s rivers continue to be high from an extremely wet 2019.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of the Grand, Muskegon and Saginaw rivers.

The NWS says the Saginaw River was already above the flood stage on New Year’s Day.

For the full year in 2019, much of West Michigan saw 16 – 20 inches more precipitation than normal, according to federal data.

Two cities, Muskegon and Grand Rapids, broke their all-time records for precipitation. In Grand Rapids, record keeping dates back to 1892.

The heavy rain and snow contributed to high water levels on the Great Lakes. Those levels remain well-above average. Lake Michigan and Huron ended the year nearly three feet higher than average, and just a few inches shy of their record levels.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects Great Lakes water levels will continue to be near record levels through the spring.

Increased precipitation in the Great Lakes region is one of the impacts of climate change.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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