Feds brief region on Grand River flood funding


The Grand River rose to flood levels downtown after record-setting rains this spring. Photo by Mike Nichols

City, township and county officials from up to 16 counties — including Kent, Ottawa, Ionia, Allegan and Muskegon counties — will learn Friday how they can get federal funds to recover at least some of the costs they incurred from the damage their communities suffered when the Grand River overflowed in April.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will explain the reimbursement process this afternoon in a meeting being held at the Kent Intermediate School District conference center.

The briefing is only for municipalities and counties.

“This briefing will give applicants a chance to learn about the Request for Public Assistance process and discuss eligibility requirements with state and federal officials,” said Jack Stewart, the emergency management coordinator for Kent County.

State of emergency

Kent County and Grand Rapids commissioners declared their respective jurisdictions as being in a state of emergency following the river’s overflowing.

Gov. Rick Snyder did the same for the 16 counties that were affected by the flooding.

Then President Barack Obama instructed FEMA to get involved.

The damage to public property in Kent County alone totaled more than $10 million. In Grand Rapids, the damage topped $1.3 million, led by the $708,000 the city spent to protect the wastewater treatment plant on Market Avenue.

“Applicants may be able to recover costs tied to the extended emergency response, as well as damages to public properties, roads and infrastructure,” said Stewart.

SBA flood loans

Individuals, homeowners and businesses that also suffered flood damage can apply for low-interest disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration by using the Electronic Loan Application online.

The filing deadline for property damage is August 12. The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 12.

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