Governor Declares State of Emergency in Newaygo County, Mich.

The declaration means the state can offer all state resources to help the county deal with flooding that was caused by heavy rain and melting snow. The county sustained widespread flooding, with many damaged homes.

by John Agar, The Grand Rapids Press, Mich. / March 20, 2019

(TNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday, March 19, declared a state of emergency in Newaygo County after floods caused considerable damage to structures and washed out roads.

The declaration means the state can offer all state resources to help the county deal with flooding that was caused by heavy rain and melting snow. The county sustained widespread flooding, with many damaged homes.

“As Newaygo County continues to deal with the effects of severe flooding, we are doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our residents,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The state of emergency means that Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security (MSP/EMHSD) can coordinate efforts “above and beyond” what the agencies have “already been doing in conjunction with local agencies.”

“Our staff have been working closely with Newaygo County officials throughout this incident,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.

The county sought assistance on March 15, the day after rains and melted snow led to damaging floods. Newaygo County also declared its own state of emergency which meant leaders had determined that county resources were not enough “to protect the health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.“

Newaygo County emergency management officials said that flooding is still a considerable problem with stream levels and some lake levels high. Many roads remain closed.

Areas with flooding include Newaygo, White Cloud, Fremont, Hesperia, Grant, Croton, Bridgeton, Brohman, Woodland Park, Hawkins, Reeman, Woodville, Bitely, Croton Heights, Wooster and Brunswick, county officials said.

Significant rainfall is not expected in coming days.

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