Snyder adds Bay, Gladwin counties to disaster declaration - WNEM TV 5

Snyder adds Bay, Gladwin counties to disaster declaration

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Bay, Isabella, Midland, and Gladwin counties have declared a local state of emergency due to flooding.

The counties received widespread damage to roadways from the heavy rains Thursday night.

Several residents' homes were also impacted from the rain and floods.

“The amount of rainfall that we have seen in the last 24 hours has created a dangerous situation to both public infrastructure and private property,” states Bay County Executive Jim Barcia. “Therefore, we deem it necessary to declare a local state of emergency to both impart the seriousness of the situation to our residents, and to facilitate any assistance we may need from the State of Michigan or the federal government.”

The declaration is the first step in requesting state aid that may be needed.

Bay County said the state of emergency will remain in effect until further notice.

The Red Cross has opened up some emergency shelters for residents to go.

In addition, the state of Michigan has declared a state of disaster for the four counties.

“The residents of these four counties have experienced significant hardship in the past week,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “By committing the full resources of the state to assist the local health and safety agencies, we are devoted to protection of all residents and quickly rebuilding affected infrastructure. I want to thank the Michigan State Police, local emergency management services and local officials for the work they have been doing to assist residents with recovery."

The declaration means the state will provide resources to aid in recovery efforts.

“We have been actively working with our local emergency management partners in all counties impacted by the severe storms and flooding,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “I have directed my staff to work closely with our communities so they can receive the needed resources to respond and recover from this incident.”

The declaration was declared by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

"It's definitely way deep and I don't like walking through it that's for sure," said Marcus Howell, resident at Brentwood Estates in Bay City.

The water is several feet deep in some spots at the mobile home park.

"I've seen a lot of water in here, but not this bad," said Helen Bell, resident.

Water from the heavy downpour pooled in the streets of Brentwood Estates leaving residents stuck inside their homes.

One understated hero tried to find an alternative way of getting around.

"I've just been on the canoe all day. Everybody's needing rides," said Rusty Bently, resident.

Bently has been rowing people to their cars and back to their homes to get items all day. He has even delivered a pizza or two.

"Pizza guy won't come in and neither will FedEx. Most everyone says that's the way to do it. I keep saying we couldn't get to the river so they brought it to us," Bently said.

Residents said thankfully the flooding hasn't caused extensive damage to many of the homes, but some sheds have water damage and many skirts on the homes need to be replaced.

The Bay County Emergency Manager's Office is urging residents not to drive through flowing water covering roads. A road closed sign could mean the road is washed out completely.

FEMA will soon begin conducting preliminary damage assessments with state and local officials to review damages and responses costs. They are expected to begin as early as next week.

“We are committed to using every avenue possible to help our residents in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties,” Snyder said. “A joint assessment confirms reported damages, which helps makes our case for federal assistance. There is a critical path to follow. This is the next step in the potential request of a Presidential Disaster declaration.”

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