River Community in Newaygo County Cleaning Up After Flood

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clean up volunteer 1NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. (April 25, 2014) — The Muskegon River has receded in Newaygo County, but there is still a lot of flood damage left behind.

Newaygo County Emergency Services Director, Abby Watkins said that earlier in the week, hundreds of homes were surrounded by about three feet of water.

“We had about nine inches of rainfall to the north of us in the Muskegon River basin, which caused our river level to rise extremely rapidly,” said Watkins.

Debris piles fill the street of the Muskegon River community, filled with furnature that must be thrown out.

“Flood water is considered black water, so all of this flood water contains contaminants. Anything that is coarse material can absorb the flood water and cannot be properly cleaned. It has to be gutted and removed,” said Watkins.

Kyle Doyon with the nonprofit clean up organization Team Rubicon said that his group, which is mostly made up of military veterans, is helping homeowners pick up the pieces.

“Found out flooding had happened here, so we moved our entire base of operations here and now we’ve been out doing the assessments and compiled the data that the emergency directors have had. They’ve got it from all of their assessors,” said Doyon.

Doyon said that seeing the devastation on the faces of homeowners as they are forced to throw out their personal items, inspires his group to help in any way they can.

“They are definitely heartbroken at what they lost. I mean it’s hard thing they go through and then they are grateful to get the help, and it’s great when we get to see the community come together around that too,” said Doyon.volunteer 3


The following is form Newaygo ES:

Newaygo ES has posted some pictures of people who have been impacted by the flooding that took place last week. . . If you can lend a hand. . . Rather it be a few hours or a whole day, it would make such a difference!!! Lets help these residents get back to their homes!!!

We need volunteers willing and able to help neighborhoods impacted by the flooding event! We are looking for able bodies to assist Team Rubicon with Debris Removal, Muck-outs, and cleanup.

Clean up efforts are underway and are expected to continue through May 6th. Even if you can only donate a few hours of your time over the next few weeks and weekends, it would be extremely helpful and make a difference.

To register to help, you can either go to the Volunteer Reception Center at the Fremont Community Center (old high school at the south end of the building) Saturday anytime between 10 am – 4pm or signup online with Team Rubicon at http://www.teamrubiconusa.org

Please help spread the word! We need your help to make our community whole again.

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  • Cindy Eaton

    I am a homeowner on this street and I want to thank everyone for all the help in cleaning up. Kudos to team Rubicon and Fox 17 News. We appreciate you following up on this story and letting people know that all is NOT well just because the river has receded and things are drying up on high land and the sun is shining. Newaygo ES has been wonderful and Abby Watkins is going above and beyond to make sure that everyone is taken care of. A big Thank you to them as well.