Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 28, 2013

Assessments planned for flooded areas


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials will go block by block assessing the flood damage in several western Michigan communities, but it could be a while before they can complete the process because they have to wait for floodwaters to recede.

Teams from Grand Rapids and Kent County plan to go through flooded neighborhoods over the next few weeks, according to WOOD-TV.

The assessments will allow officials to decide if they should seek a disaster area declaration from Gov. Rick Snyder. That could possibly pave the way for federal disaster funds to be made available to communities hit hardest by the high water.

“We have identified all of the parcels that are within the 100-year flood plain,” Kent County Equalization Director Matt Wolford told the television station.

But the process will not move quickly, Wolford added.

“Until the water subsides all you have is a picture of water and you really can’t determine the extent at the individual parcel level,” he said.

Downpours and steady rain over the past week or so brought on sudden flooding throughout the Midwest and across parts of Michigan.

About 1,700 Kent County residents were evacuated from their homes after several days of heavy rain caused the Grand River to rise over its banks. That number included about 1,000 people who were evacuated April 20 from the 32-story Plaza Towers residential building in Grand Rapids after water flooded its basement.

The Grand River dropped back beneath flood stage Thursday, but Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell has extended a state of emergency through Tuesday, MLive.com reported.

The Grand Rapids City Commission is expected to be asked Tuesday to approve more than $600,000 in flood prevention costs.

Those costs are “based on what we know staff are doing at this time,” Tom Almonte, assistant to the city manager, told MLive.com. “As we move forward, the staff will bring forward any other expenditures associated with the incident.”