The heavy flooding that struck Michigan this month is evident in these photos from NASA’s Earth Observatory. The photos, taken from NASA’s Terra satellite, show the Saginaw River on the east side of the state and the Grand River as it flows west from the center of the state toward Lake Michigan on April 5 and April 21. A comparison of the photos shows a much-widened Grand River and major flooding conditions on the Saginaw River near the city of Saginaw, according to the NASA report. The National Weather Service continues to place Saginaw under a flood warning, stating that the river is not expected to fall below flood levels until May 1.
The photos combine infrared and visual light imagery to increase the contrast between the water and land, highlighting the expansion of the rivers, according to NASA. The agency’s report also mentions the more vibrant green hue of vegetation in the April 21 photo, stating that it is a consequence of both the heavy rainfall enlivening plant life and the onset of spring in the state.
The flood currents are driving a plume of sediment into Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, according to an MLive report from April 23.