GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– The State of Emergency has been extended for another month, this according to Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator, Jack Stewart.
Even as the flood waters drop about a foot a day, it’s still too soon to put a price tag on the amount of flood damage in Kent County. This, as everyone waits anxiously for the water to go down more.
“Once we get a comprehensive idea of damage, we’ll discuss requesting the governor for disaster declaration,” said Stewart. “That’s necessary to open the door for any possible FEMA funding.”
The damage is mainly in the form of numerous homes and offices that were flooded, as well as area drains clogged with debris. Until then, Stewart will be working with his team and the National Weather Service in hopes of getting more areas downgraded from flood warnings to flood watches.
For now, the State of Emergency remains in effect till late May.
“The reason for that is it gives our elected officials, the Sheriff and local officials more flexibility to enhance response efforts.”
The State of Emergency will affect, not only those who’ve experienced first-hand damage of the flood, but anyone who has to come in contact with the water in some form or another.
“Stay away from flooded areas, stay off the river , don’t make contact with the river,” reminded Stewart. “We still have a no contact advisory for the Grand River. Don’t put yourself in peril. And, please observe road closed signs,” added Stewart.
“If you ignore that sign, you’ll probably be getting a ticket.”
As for the sandbags, Stewart said they’re going to stay put for now. Engineers are working on some creative ways to incorporate them, possibly into the riverfront.