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Snyder declares state of disaster in 17 Michigan counties after floods

Posted: Mar 12, 2018

By: Brad Devereaux (MLive)

Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a state of disaster and opened the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to local governments in 17 counties and two cities after heavy rainfall and snowmelt resulted in widespread flooding damage.

Communities across Michigan experienced flooding in late February and completed damage assessments in the weeks that followed.

Snyder made the disaster declaration Monday, March 12, for affected counties including Allegan, Arenac, Barry, Berrien, Cass, Clare, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Ottawa and St. Joseph, as well as the cities of Grand Rapids and Lansing.

"Thank you to our emergency responders and volunteer services for their painstaking efforts to keep Michiganders safe throughout this flooding incident," Snyder said in a prepared statement. "Protecting the public health and safety of our residents is our top priority. This disaster declaration will provide state assistance to help our communities continue their recovery."

By declaring a state of disaster, Snyder has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already been doing in conjunction with local agencies, Snyder said.

"We have been working closely with our local emergency management partners in all counties and cities affected by these floods," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.

Through the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund, local governments in the declared counties can apply for grants to receive reimbursement for response costs up to $100,000, or 10 percent of their previous year's operating budget, whichever is less.

Before the flooding, many of the impacted communities had implemented mitigation projects designed to lessen the impacts of flooding hazards, Snyder said in the news release.

While the State does not know the full extent of the damages these projects prevented, a 2017 report by the National Institute of Building Sciences estimates communities save $6 for every dollar spent on mitigation projects, the news release states.

Original post link: https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2018/03/snyder_declares_state_of_disas.html