Types of Flooding

There are two kinds of flooding that happen in Lansing: Riverine Flooding and Stormwater Flooding.

Stormwater Flooding


This happens when so much rain falls that storm drains backup into streets and basements. Storm drains flow to the river. Some storm drains have pump stations that speed up the water as it flows to the river, making backups happen less often.

You can help prevent stormwater flooding by keeping storm drains in your neighborhood clear. Never dump grass clippings or other debris into a storm drain.

Stormwater systems, just like rivers, can be overwhelmed by exceptionally heavy rains. Stormwater flooding can happen anywhere in the city.

Riverine Flooding


This happens when so much stormwater, or water from melting snow, flows into the rivers that the rivers overflow their banks. Some of the stormwater comes through drains, but a lot of it flows over the ground, or even under the ground. About 80% of all the precipitation that falls in Lansing ends up in the rivers.

Stormwater pump stations can't stop rivers from flooding. They are only there to help prevent stormwater flooding by getting water from the street to the river faster.