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aowwt

The Grand River

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Okay I am not sure if anybody has read the editorial section in the press the day after the explosion but uhm the Grand River may need some work done on it. According to what I read the Grand had its retaining walls aka flood walls rebuilt a few years ago to over 1 foot above the 100 year flood mark. Now FEMA is in saying it needs to be 3 feet over the 100 year flood mark. Just so you guys know the flood mark is measured at the Van Andel Museum. In any case the cost do extend the wall will run around 9 million dollars. We have spent 13.5 million on a 2003 refurbishment that did raise the wall to the present level. In any case if they want to help out matters they could just remove the dams on the river. Pearl Street to 196 has 4 dams that could be removed and natural rapids installed instead along with the 6th steet dam. Frankly I think they could spend 6 million of federal money to get a lot of that work completed. I am not positive but I think this could do several things. First allow better recreation of the grand. Next it could allow for a lower river since the water could move faster through the city. A faster moving river could help with keeping it clear of ice longer and removing the ice faster. Ie less ice damage. BTW I wonder how much dynamite you could buy for 6 million dollars hehe.

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I'm all for putting the rapids back in the Grand. :) However, is the flood level at the level it is because of the dams? Would it still flood w/out the dams (or even worse?)?

So when FEMA talks, does this mean it has to happen? I don't know how that stuff works.

Joe

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I am all for river improvements, and I would absolutely kayak through downtown! No question. If there are meetings to attend, letters to write, whatever, I'll get involved.

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I am all for river improvements, and I would absolutely kayak through downtown! No question. If there are meetings to attend, letters to write, whatever, I'll get involved.

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I'm all for putting the rapids back in the Grand. :) However, is the flood level at the level it is because of the dams? Would it still flood w/out the dams (or even worse?)?

So when FEMA talks, does this mean it has to happen? I don't know how that stuff works.

Joe

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Now my question though is if the rapids were installed from say 6th street to 131 could it lower the river and hence save the butt ugly retaining walls that would be built instead. I am just hoping that something better than just building flood walls could be saved. I now we need them but right now they completely merge with the surrondings and not harm them. In any case I am not a geologist but from what I remember dams do raise the water level so maybe something could be done. But the kyacking part was what I was thinking of. The key thing is to make sure the river does not get slowed down by installing the rapids. A slower river creates a higher river.

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Now my question though is if the rapids were installed from say 6th street to 131 could it lower the river and hence save the butt ugly retaining walls that would be built instead. I am just hoping that something better than just building flood walls could be saved. I now we need them but right now they completely merge with the surrondings and not harm them. In any case I am not a geologist but from what I remember dams do raise the water level so maybe something could be done. But the kyacking part was what I was thinking of. The key thing is to make sure the river does not get slowed down by installing the rapids. A slower river creates a higher river.

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okay the dams themselves hold back water since it creates a pool behind it. The thing is these dams are made so water goes over it and hence allows it to have some semblence of a river. The thing is if those dams were eliminated that pool would then be gone. My question revoles around the aspect of the reduction in the waterline since thier is no blockage of the water. I know the river at present is shallow probally a few feet judging from the pictures. There is other aspects of this as well. A faster river upstream could cause problems to the bridges since they could have been built to handle a lower speed of the grand. In any case those are my thoughts to an alternative method of raising the flood walls.

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I found this group on Facebook (over 500 strong):

GRWW - http://grandrapidswhitewater.com/

Did I just miss this or are we getting lazy? The group seems pretty well organized (nice site design). Be sure to pay them a visit.

Joe

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