Kent Co. declares state of emergency in response to flooding
Updated: Friday, April 19 2013, 08:30 PM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Kent County has officially declared a state of emergency in response to the severe flooding throughout the region.
According to the county's information, the flooding crest is still possibly two days away, and hydrologists have told them that water may not recede below flood stage until the middle of next week.
As a result, on Friday afternoon, the County Board Chairman signed the order to declare the local state of emergency.
"This will allow us to receive damage assessment resources from the state, and is the first step for possible federal emergency assistance," the city said in a release.
Sherrif Larry Stelma offered the following tips:
- Do not attempt to drive through roadways covered in water – the road could be washed out or there could be strong currents.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may contain debris, gasoline or raw sewage.
- Softened ground can cause trees to fall, and wind gusts can break tree branches. Be aware of this in your travels, and exercise caution when around trees.
- If you see a downed power line, do not approach it, call 911.
- Please respect our emergency responders and Public Works crews. Avoid areas that are flooded. People seeking photographs or those who want to see the damage first-hand may impede emergency personnel trying to respond.
The Kent County Health Department also advised that those with septic systems or well water should not use the water for potable use, such as cooking, drinking, brushing your teeth, or bathing.
Residents in such a situation are advised to use only bottled water until further notice.
The county estimated that about 400 homes could be impacted.
The release also indicated that the Kent County Animal Shelter has been assisting residents living in a mandatory evacuation area with their pets.
"The shelter has space for pets to be held for 7 days," said the release. "They are also working to make sure any livestock in these areas are evacuated and protected."