Flood clean up begins in Grandville; still much to do

7:18 PM, Apr 27, 2013   |    comments
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GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) - Dozens in Grandville need major repair work after being damaged by last week's flooding.

Saturday started a large gathering of volunteers to help many of these homeowners with some of the heavy lifting. So far, 20 homes have been visited.

Carol Kooeinga's children have all grown up and now she lives alone. When she woke Friday morning to find the basement flooded of her home on White Street, she felt helpless. "Memories, and my passion of sewing; I just didn't want anything to happen, and I don't want my house destroyed. I worked too hard to get here."

Kooeinga didn't know where to start until the Grandville Chamber of Commerce came to her, asking if they could come over. "I don't know what I would've done without it, because I couldn't have got the carpet up, I couldn't have gotten all this stuff taken care of."

Brad Cook helped volunteer: "We're getting the things out of the basement that got wet, and just letting them dry out, and dump the stuff that has to be dumped... I know if my basement was flooded, I'd love if people came and helped me."

All the houses on White Street had flooding. The Chamber is also focusing on homes on 34th street, Canal Avenue, and the Basswood and Choctaw areas. "We're worried about the health and safety of our neighbors; of our elderly having mold in their basement, and it also affects real estate values."

Still, there's a lot of work to do, and the volunteers are prepared to work as many weekends as they need to; inspiring others as they go. "I hope I can return the favor somehow," said Kooeinga.

The Chamber will be posting more requests for volunteers on its website and Facebook page.

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