Whitmer denies request for disaster relief for Portland, Ionia Co.

Aerial footage of an ice jam on Feb. 26 in Portland. (Photo courtesy city of Portland)

PORTLAND, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has denied a request for disaster relief for the City of Portland and Ionia County.

Earlier in the year, ice jams triggered extreme flooding in parts of Portland that displaced residents and caused extensive damage to homes.

Ionia County dealt with serious flooding earlier in the year, prompting Whitmer to declare a state of emergency to provide more funding to recovery efforts.

The city said the total loss from the flooding totaled over $200,000, some of which was covered by insurance. Ionia County requested a total of $105,316 in financial assistance from the state’s Disaster and Contingency Fund, with about $100,000 related to the damage in Portland.

On Monday, Ionia County received a letter saying the request was denied. The letter says the fund is designed to provide personnel, supplies and materials that are beyond the capability of a local government.

Under extreme circumstances, the fund can also provide financial assistance. However, the state determined the funds the county and city used “did not place unreasonably great demands … to clearly demonstrate exhaustion of local effort.”

“In fact, the county’s efforts were commendable and clearly demonstrated the strength and resiliency of local agencies addressing public health and safety threats,” the letter says.

In a Facebook post, Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman said the city disagrees with the decision and will take steps to get state leaders to reconsider.

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  • censoredagain

    I see that my comment was taken down, as it was critical of the governor, and the Grand Rapids mayor.
    this is the very censorship, that the socialist democrats desire.

    • Douglas Wilhelm

      Any business reserves the right to censor whatever they choose in their public forums. You have no more entitled to your thoughts here, than a same sex couple is entitled to a wedding cake. I’m sure if your comments were germane and civil, they would still be here.

  • Douglas Wilhelm

    Portland is only 4K people, so I can see how 200K might be a burden, but Ionia Co. should be able to handle that.

    • C

      Why should they have to? You can bet if the same problem happened in Saginaw, Flint, Bay City, or anywhere in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb Counties, she wouldn’t need to be asked. She’d offer the money before a request was made.

  • steve

    I just saw an interview on TV8 where this hair-brained excuse for a governor said the problem was caused by………..climate change. If ever you needed another reason to wonder why anyone of normal intelligence would vote for her, this is it.

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