Kent County Flood Update: April 29th 2013

Posted at 4:41 PM, Apr 29, 2013
Grand River in Grand Rapids by Melissa Ausua

Grand River in Grand Rapids by Melissa Ausua

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Waters are receding and some of the damage assessments are starting to be tallied by the Kent County Department of Equalization tonight. Personnel from cities, townships and villages that were affected by flooding, as well as volunteers, started logging damage assessments around Kent County last week. The state has requested the county report a preliminary damage estimate tomorrow, but it could be several weeks before a final calculation of the damage is determined. “Now that more water has receded, teams are able to get to more areas for general assessments, said Jack Stewart, Emergency Management Coordinator. “There are still areas that are difficult to access. We will be able to do more comprehensive assessments in the coming weeks.”

A number of organizations have been instrumental in helping residents with shelter, clean-up, and other human services. “The help of these organizations, such as the Heart of West Michigan United Way, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Southern Baptist Convention and so many others have kept our residents safe, warm, and fed during this disaster,” Stewart said. Anyone needing shelter should call 211. American Red Cross has cleaning kits available. Call 616.456.8661 for more information.

Kent County Emergency Management Division remains concerned about debris, swift current and safety issues. The No-Contact Advisory remains in effect for the Grand River until further notice. DO NOT come into contact with the water until the advisory is lifted. 

Last week, Kent County Commissioners approved an extension of the local State of Emergency, to give personnel time to accurately complete damage assessments. The local State of Emergency declaration, signed April 19, remains in effect for all Kent County villages, townships and cities, through May 24, 2013. This process is necessary to determine if Governor Rick Snyder will issue a Declaration of Disaster; a step towards requesting FEMA funding or assistance.