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People in Barry Co. helping people after sustained blackouts

BARRY COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Barry County has joined three other counties and one township in declaring states of emergency, which will make them eligible to receive state funding to help in cleanup efforts.

In the meantime, some people in the community are banding together to help their neighbors, who've been put out by the blackouts.

People across Barry County have been doing whatever they can to get through the week, and even though most of the outage victims have now returned to their homes, it doesn't mean the work is done or the need is gone.

Friday night, Newschannel 3 spoke with people on both sides of the coin.

After 6 days without power, Brittany Eubank and her fiance have a lot of work to do.

"We haven't had hot water, we haven't had food because all the food in the fridge was bad," she said.

They tried their best to save it, even going so far as to put snow around the food.

But after the better part of a week, that didn't matter

"It was nasty smelling, and there was blood all over the freezer from the meat in there," Brittany said.

They're on their own for cleaning, but at least they family to lean on during the outage.

"We went to his uncles and his dads and my dads," Brittany said.

Not everyone was so lucky.

One woman and her family decided to do something about it but asked not to be identified because they say it's not about them.

"I really felt like it was God that told us you gotta do something," she said.

So they started putting people up in hotels, like the Holiday Inn in Hastings.

"It started with my husband and I paying for one person but realizing there was way more than just that one person in need," she said.

So they started a Facebook page, "Helping With Hotels."

"All of a sudden, I looked and it went from 5 to 30 in less than 15 minutes," she said.

The Facebook page continues to grow and will continue keeping families out of the cold until the need is gone, they say.

The Barry County Board of Commissioners is hoping power will be restored to everyone by Sunday.

The chairman of the board says there is a meeting Saturday morning to start determining how much the state of emergency has cost the county.

They will also be discussing how and when to submit a proposal to the Governor's office for state aid.