Our network

Weather

My Town: Forest Hills Schools using technology to combat snow days

My Town: Forest Hills Schools using technology to combat snow days

FOREST HILLS, Mich.—As many West Michigan schools are preparing to extend their academic calendar into June because of snow days, one district is combating a longer school year with the help of technology.

Anticipating snow days, language arts teacher Kris Schrotenboer recorded two weeks of lessons at the beginning of the semester with Michigan-made TechSmith Relay.  Shrotenboer even recorded some of her lessons on a smart phone at her kitchen table.   The 20-year veteran teacher then assigned students to watch videos on snow days, keeping her lesson plan on track.  Schrotenboer says her some of her students loved spending a little of their snow day on schoolwork, so they don’t have to cram later on.

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The recent winter storms and extremely cold temperatures are taking a toll on donations to the American Red Cross.

The organization says more than 7070 blood drives were cancelled last month because of the weather—leading to a loss of more than 25,000 blood and platelet donations. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to supply medical centers. 

“While thousands of people from across the country responded to the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross in January, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donors with type O, especially type O negative,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region.

Kulman says the recent uptick in cold and flu cases is also taking a toll on blood donations.   Community members are encouraged to donate blood at one of the following drives:

  • Feb. 4, 12 p.m.

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.

Thornapple River is over its banks

Thornapple River is over its banks

CASCADE, MI - The Thornapple River is very close to minor flood stage at Caledonia.  The river level at 8am this morning was 9.85 feet, while minor flood stage is 10 feet.  The river is expected to crest at 12.8 feet in Caledonia this weekend, which is considered moderate flood stage.  The record in Caledonia is 14.4 feet.

The water is roaring through the Cascade Dam this morning.  The river is over its banks at Tassel Park in downtown Cascade.  The water is rushing under the deck of one house along the Thornapple River just below the Cascade Dam.  One local rain gauge shows four inches of rain has fallen in the Cascade area since yesterday. 

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.

School buses paved roads only for Forest Hills on Tuesday

Changes due to weather at WZZM13.com

MI House Representative Takes A Flying Leap

MI House Representative Takes A Flying Leap

It was a cold February day when MI House Representative Lisa Poshumus Lyons took a flying leap into a freezing pool for charity. It was the Legislative Polar Plunge at the Capitol Building in Lansing for Special Olympics Michigan Athletes. About 20 Michigan Legislators, plus Lt. Governor Brian Calley lined up to show their support for Special Olympics Michigan. The second annual Legislative Polar Plunge raised more than $30,000 to benefit children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This Polar Plunge was one of 28 Polar Plunges throughout Michigan from January through this month to benefit Special Olympics Michigan.