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Local state of emergency following storms in effect through Monday

Backyard Fun Zone, 5600 block Alpine Ave. NW
WGVU Photo
Patrick Center
Backyard Fun Zone, 5600 block Alpine Ave. NW

The Kent County Board of Commissioners declared a local state of emergency in response to cleanup efforts following Thursday’s tornado and storms. Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Kent and Ionia Counties

Across Kent and Ionia Counties cleanup continues one week after a powerful storm produced an EF1 tornado travelling nearly nine miles across northern Kent County. The tornado produced wind speeds of 86-110 mph with storm gusts across the region topping 75 mph creating widespread damage to homes and businesses, toppling trees and knocking out power.

Kent County’s Emergency Management Division estimates total damage to roughly 200 homes and businesses exceeds $4.3 million. That number continues to climb.

County employees have been involved in the cleanup efforts above and beyond their normal shifts. Local governments impacted by the storms along with county services providing aid and cleanup, including the county road commission, have been stretched.

Matt Groesser is Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator, he tells us the damage totals don’t meet a federal emergency declaration, but it may meet what’s known as Michigan “section 19” funding. A state contingency fund created for reimbursing local governments costs associated with response and recovery.

The states of emergency are in effect through September 4th.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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