Call 211 to report damage

Matt DeYoung • Feb 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

As flood waters begin to recede across West Michigan, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management division continues to monitor the water levels along the Grand River and other areas of the county from the recent flooding.

The river is expected to recede in the coming week, and in an effort to accurately assess the damage that has occurred, the Sheriff’s Office is asking businesses and homeowners to report any flood damage by reaching out to the Call 211 community access line between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Call 211 provides a connection for the community with resources they need such as utility assistance, transportation, food, housing or clothing. Reporting the recent flood damage will also provide specific information to the damage assessment teams.

Cleanup safety tips

The Michigan State Police offers safety tips to those who must now begin clean-up efforts. 

“As the flood waters recede and Michigan residents begin to clean their homes, schools and businesses, we want everyone to take steps to ensure they stay safe,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the state police. “We want everyone to be mindful of the dangers involved with water damage and take the necessary precautions.”

Residents are encouraged to remove flood-damaged items and clean basements safely.

To stay safe when cleaning after a flood:

Prevent mold growth. Clean and dry out the building quickly. Open doors and windows. Use fans to dry out the building. To prevent mold growth, clean wet items and surfaces with detergent and water. To remove mold growth, wear rubber gloves, open windows and doors, and clean with a bleach solution of 1 cup bleach in 1 gallon water. Throw away porous items (for example, carpet and upholstered furniture) that cannot be dried quickly.

Pace yourself and get support. Be alert to physical and emotional exhaustion or strain. Set priorities for tasks and pace the work. Try not to work alone. Don't get exhausted. Ask your family members, friends or professionals for support. If needed, seek professional help.

Prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Use teams of two or more people to move bulky objects. Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person). Wear protective gear. Wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves and watertight boots with steel toes and insoles (not just steel shank). Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by many types of equipment and is poisonous to breathe. Do not use a pressure washer or generator inside your home. If your carbon monoxide detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.

For more information about what to do before, during and after flooding, go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

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