Kalamazoo River Ice Jam Creates Potential for Flooding

(en español abajo)

An ice jam that has formed on the Kalamazoo River has created the potential for flooding in areas of the City of Kalamazoo. Residents who live near the Kalamazoo River, Portage Creek, or Axtel Creek are encouraged to closely monitor conditions on the Kalamazoo River and take steps to prepare should flooding occur.

On January 20, the National Weather service issued a flood warning due to an ice jam that has formed just downstream of the King Highway Bridge, approximately two miles east of downtown Kalamazoo. The areas in this warning are in Kalamazoo and Comstock Townships, between the King Highway Bridge and Merrill Park. This warning is in effect through 1:30pm on Thursday, January 23.

If the ice jam breaks apart slowly and water is gradually released, the river may resume flowing without any flooding in the City. However, if the jam causes water to accumulate over a period of several days breaks suddenly, the quick release of water could lead to flooding around the Kalamazoo River and the creeks that flow into it.

Ice jams are difficult to predict and can cause water levels to change very quickly with little warning. Anyone living near the Kalamazoo River, Portage Creek, or Axtel Creek is encouraged to closely monitor river conditions and take precautions should flooding occur. City of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County officials will be monitoring river conditions and provide additional information as it becomes available.


Residentes de Kalamazoo advirtió de posibles inundaciones debido a la obstrucción del hielo del río Kalamazoo

Una obstrucción de hielo que se ha formado en el río Kalamazoo ha creado el potencial de inundación en áreas de la ciudad de Kalamazoo. Los residentes que viven cerca del río Kalamazoo, Portage Creek, o Axtel Creek se recomienda vigilar atentamente las condiciones en el río Kalamazoo y tomar medidas para prepararse en caso de inundación.

El 20 de enero, el Servicio Meteorológico Nacional emitió una advertencia de inundación debido a un bloqueo de hielo que se ha formado justo aguas abajo del puente King Highway, aproximadamente dos millas al este del centro de Kalamazoo. Las áreas en esta advertencia se encuentran en Kalamazoo y Municipios de Comstock, entre el puente King Highway y Merrill Park. Esta advertencia está en efecto hasta la 1:30pm del jueves 23 de enero.

Si la obstrucción del hielo se rompe lentamente y el agua se libera gradualmente, el río puede reanudar el flujo sin ninguna inundación en la ciudad. Sin embargo, si la obstrucción hace que el agua se acumule durante un período de varios días se rompe de repente, la liberación rápida de agua podría causar inundaciones alrededor del río Kalamazoo y los arroyos que desembocan en él.

Los bloqueos de hielo son difíciles de predecir y pueden hacer que los niveles de agua cambien muy rápidamente con poca advertencia. Cualquier persona que vive cerca del río Kalamazoo, Portage Creek, o Axtel Creek se recomienda vigilar atentamente las condiciones del río y tomar precauciones en caso de inundación. Los funcionarios de la Ciudad de Kalamazoo y del Condado de Kalamazoo estarán monitoreando las condiciones del río y proporcionarán información tan pronto esté disponible.

Kalamazoo Voters Invited to Join Permanent Absentee Ballot Request List

Registered voters in the City of Kalamazoo will soon see an invitation to join the Permanent Absentee Ballot Request List in their mailbox. Voters on this list receive a date-specific absentee ballot request leading up to every election, allowing them to easily obtain and vote via absentee ballot. The postcard informs voters about the option to join this list and invites them to be added to the list by returning an attached response card. Of the approximately 54,400 registered voters in the City, 4,600 voters are currently on the Permanent Absentee Ballot Request List.

Prior to 2019 voters were required to declare a qualifying “reason” why they needed an absentee ballot. Changes to state law in 2019 now allow "no reason" absentee voting, which means all voters are eligible to vote absentee. Additional information is provided below: 

Can you automatically mail me a ballot for each election?

  • The City Clerk’s Office cannot automatically send ballots to voters. In order to issue an absentee ballot we must have a written request from the voter that is specific for that election.

What's it mean to be on the permanent absentee ballot request list?

  • Being on the permanent request list means the City Clerk’s Office will send a date-specific absentee ballot request form to the voter prior to every election. In order to get a ballot, a voter on the permanent request list must sign and return the absentee ballot request form for that election.

If I am on the list or receive an absentee ballot do I have to vote absentee?

  • Receiving an absentee ballot request form does not obligate the voter to cast an absentee ballot for that election. If a voter receives an absentee ballot request but doesn’t want to vote in that particular election or wants to vote in person on election day, they can throw the form away. If the voter does not return the request form there is no consequence to the voter’s registration status, their ability to vote in person on election day, their ability to request an absentee ballot for future elections, or their place on the permanent request list.

Do I have to register for the permanent absentee ballot request list?

  • Being on the permanent request list is optional. Voters are not required to be on the permanent request list in order to be registered to vote or to get an absentee ballot. A voter who does not want to be on the permanent request list can still get an absentee ballot for a specific election.

How can I be added to the permanent absentee ballot request list?

  • Voters must ask to be on the list. The City Clerk’s Office cannot put voters on the permanent list without a request from the voter.

How can I request to be added to the permanent absentee ballot request list?

  • Voters can request to be on the permanent application list in writing or verbally, including over the phone.

Do I have to get an absentee ballot request form from the City of Kalamazoo?

  • Voters who want an absentee ballot are not required to use the City’s form. The City’s form will have the voter’s information printed on it, which makes it easier for the voter. But there is a generic State of Michigan Absent Voter Ballot Application form on the Secretary of State’s website. Also, a voter can simply make their request in writing with their signature. They don’t need to use a form at all.

Does my permanent absentee ballot request status transfer between jurisdictions?

  • Local clerks are not required to maintain a permanent request list. Because of this, the permanent request status does not transfer with the voter’s record from one jurisdiction to another. If a person was on the permanent request list in one jurisdiction and then they move, they will need to contact the clerk in their new jurisdiction and ask to be added to that clerk’s permanent request list.

 

Kalamazoo Residents Encouraged to Take a “Day On” for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Kalamazoo residents are encouraged to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in the annual community-wide day of service on Monday, January 20.  Now in its 19th year, the Community-Wide day of service invites residents to put the teaching and philosophy of Dr. King in action, taking time to volunteer for causes that will make our community stronger and make our city a better place.

The Community-Wide Day of Service is a collaboration between the City of Kalamazoo, United Way of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Region, Western Michigan University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Kalamazoo College, and the Northside Ministerial Alliance.

Community members are invited to participate in any type of community service, for any cause or organization that is important to them. Gryphon Place is also coordinating volunteers and volunteer opportunities. Gryphon Place may also be reached by phone at (269) 381-1510 ext. 242. Volunteers may also register onsite at City Hall on Monday, January 20 between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.

Mayor David Anderson will welcome volunteers with light breakfast at City Hall at 8:30am in the Community Room at City Hall, before community service begins. Starting at 4pm, community members will meet at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center for a commemorative walk to Martin Luther King, Jr. park for a wreath laying ceremony, which is expected to begin around 4:40pm. A community reception will follow at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. For information on public transportation to and from events, visit www.kalamazoocity.org/mlk or contact Metro at (269) 337-8222.

Over the past 18 years, the City and other community organizations have come together to make this holiday a meaningful experience and an opportunity to do something good for others. It has been a day that reflects the life, teaching, and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing people together around the common focus of service to others and breaking down the social and economic barriers that divide our nation.

In coordination with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community-Wide Day of Service, the City of Kalamazoo will again present Social Justice Youth Awards to deserving young residents of the Kalamazoo area. The awards recognize the achievements of students aged 12-19 in the areas of racial justice, community service, volunteerism, and leadership. The City of Kalamazoo awards the Dr. Lewis Walker Award, which honors Dr. Walker’s legacy as a trailblazer for the progression of racial equity in Kalamazoo. The recipient of this award will receive a $500 scholarship along with a certificate of recognition. Six additional Social Justice Youth Awards will be presented by the program’s sponsors: Consumers Energy, Schupan and Sons, Fifth Third Bank, Life EMS, Lodge-Dennis, and Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War. These award recipients will receive a $300 scholarship and a certificate of recognition. All awards will be presented at the City Commission meeting on Tuesday, January 21.

For additional information about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community-Wide Day of Service, contact the City of Kalamazoo City Manager’s Office at (269) 337-8047 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

Contact

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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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