Kent Co. leaders may extend state of emergency
Updated: Thursday, April 25 2013, 12:01 AM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The water may be receding but Kent County leaders are prepared to extend a state of emergency another 30 days.
Close to 700 people around the county were forced from their homes last week due to rapidly rising flood water.
Kent County has given the green light for approximately 150 of them to return home, but it's a slow process.
Restoring power and safety inspections take precedence over fried nerves and short tempers.
Because many of the homes in the Wyoming area affected by the waters were built on a flood plain, some homeowners have found very little damage.
Water never rose above sandy crawlspaces that are now draining appropriately.
Others, however, are looking at months of repairs, or even cutting their losses and moving.
Streets under several feet of water less than a week ago are now nearly dry, but many homeowners continue to battle the waters inside.
"I had three different pumps going and I was keeping up with it pretty good," said resident James English. But then the City of Wyoming was forced to cut the power to his Ideal Park neighborhood.
"When that happened, it was all over," English said.
Murky, dark water rapidly overtook his basement.
But even as he continues to pump water out, he knows he was lucky.
Neighbors that spoke to Newschannel 3 are still fighting with their flood insurance providers, facing the very real possibility of being forced to bulldoze their homes.
Fortunate or not, English doesn't have much insurance, so he's tallying his lost possessions.
"A lot of personal stuff," he said. "It's hard to put a price tag on; but probably a couple grand anyway."
English remains fully aware of how much others have lost, and is counting his blessings.
"It can always be worse," he said.