Ottawa County is one of 19 Michigan counties and two cities that were part of Gov. Rick Snyder's "state of disaster" declaration this week. The declaration supports efforts to respond to the severe flooding in parts of Michigan.
“This declaration makes available all the state resources that are needed to continue supporting local officials in their ongoing work to keep the public safe as the recovery efforts begin,” the governor said.
Snyder said the state will explore all possible avenues for assistance to help the effected residents and local governments recover from the floods. The declaration will ensure that all possible resources in accordance with the Michigan Emergency Management Plan are provided to assist the local response to the flooding.
“Just designating these areas as a state of disaster is the first step for financial assistance,” Ottawa County spokeswoman Shannon Felgner said.
Felgner said the flood damage to public property in Ottawa County was mainly in parklands along the Grand River.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has joined state and local officials to assess damaged homes, businesses, public facilities and infrastructure. The Preliminary Damage Assessment process is the first step to assist the state in determining whether a federal declaration should be requested.
Teams will assess damage incurred by homeowners, renters and businesses. The teams will also assess the damage to public infrastructure, as well as the overall impacts to the communities.
The governor's declaration comes at a good time for local communities that were impacted by the flooding.
Residents and business owners impacted by the floods are encouraged to report any damages to their local emergency management agency. Those who did not already submit damage reports can do it online at miottawa.org.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.