GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– At 1:00pm Saturday, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell declared a State of Emergency in the city. The mayor says significant ground water is entering downtown buildings, including all three hotels along the east side of the river. Both the J.W. Marriot and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel have been pumping water out of their basement for days.
The mayor says, water from the Grand River appears to be migrating underground due to hydrological pressures and may cause further damage to property and infrastructure, until the waters recede.
City officials though, remain confident in the height and structural integrity of the flood walls in the city. The new crest prediction is at 22.7 feet and the mayor says their 25 ft flood wall will be about 3ft. above the crest. But, putting the city in a State of Emergency according to the Mayor means “we put ourselves in line should we need it so we are eligible for state/federal funding.”
The city continues to make the Waste Water Treatment Plant a top priority, Saturday afternoon workers spent the day building a re-enforcement wall around the perimeter to keep the water out.
The city is still looking for more volunteers to come out and help fill sandbags. If you want to help they are asking people to go to 201 Market Ave. starting Sunday at 8am.