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Portland police: Stay off ice jam

Children walk on an ice-covered river on Feb. 6, 2019 in Portland, Mich.

PORTLAND, Mich. — Portland police are warning those curious about the ice jam through downtown to not walk out onto the ice.

Officers said the shifting chunks of ice may look solid, but have a fast current beneath.

Police say they’ve already had to ask two kids to get off the ice earlier on Wednesday and they are up to their ears in work.

Most of the department worked an 18-hour day Wednesday after horrific flooding hit the town late Tuesday night.

For 20-year-old Gram Smith, his worry is that people will come, look at the damage, and leave without doing one important thing:

“To be honest with you, my biggest fear is that people are going to go back to their house, and tell their family how crazy it was, and not go out and help people…what’s the point of that,” Smith said.

Smith went door-to-door down Water Street Wednesday after work to check on those attempting to save their belongings as water levels continue to rise. Everyone on who lives on Water Street across from the river was evacuated.

Rick Smith, of no relation to Gram Smith, is one of those people who’s losing his home. He appreciates those people who have stopped by to ask if they could help.

“I don’t like to ask for help, I’ve taken care of myself my whole life, but I have no choice right now. I gotta ask for help. Because it happened so fast,” Rick Smith said.

 

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