LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a state of disaster for 19 counties and two cities - Grand Rapids and Ionia - to support ongoing local efforts to respond to the severe flooding.
Along with Grand Rapids and Ionia, the governor's disaster declaration also covers the following counties: Baraga, Barry, Benzie, Genesee, Gogebic, Gratiot, Houghton, Ionia, Kent, Keweenaw, Marquette, Mecosta, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ontonagon, Osceola, Ottawa and Saginaw.
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, which took place April 9 through May 3.
"Our first responders and volunteer organizations must be commended for their tireless efforts to protect the public's safety during this flooding. 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," Snyder said in a press release. "We will be exploring all possible avenues for assistance to help affected residents and local governments recover from the severe flooding."
The governor has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to join state and local officials to assess the extent of damage to homes, businesses, public facilities and infrastructure. The Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) process is the initial step to assist state officials in determining whether a federal declaration should be requested.
Teams may not visit every affected home and business, all of the local damage assessment information will be included in the overall results. Affected residents and business owners are encouraged to report any damages to their local emergency management agency.