Kent County reports Grand River flood damage rises to $10.6M


Kent County has reported that $2.6 million in damage has been done to public properties located outside of the city of Grand Rapids from the flooding of the Grand River.

The bulk of the damage, slightly more than $1 million, occurred to parks and recreational facilities.

Public buildings and equipment suffered $604,000 worth of damage, while water-control facilities were hit with damages totaling $307,000.

Roads and bridges were damaged to the tune of nearly $260,000, with public utilities scoring $172,000 in damage.

So far, the county has spent $170,000 on protective measures during the three-week emergency and another $120,000 has gone to removing debris.

Kent County has also estimated that an additional $5.5 million in damage has been done to homes, and businesses have suffered $2.5 million worth of damage from the flooding.

Total damage from the flood right now stands at $10.6 million.

Kent County Equalization Director Matt Woolford said the damage estimates have been given to the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency for their reviews.

“FEMA let us know in advance that their assessment formulas could be different than ours, meaning they may have found less damage, or more damage, in their cost estimates,” said Woolford.

Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator Jack Stewart added that FEMA crews completed their assessments earlier this week.

“Damage-assessment teams comprised of FEMA staff, local assessors and representatives from the Small Business Association toured areas throughout Kent County last week to view damage to public and personal property,” said Stewart.

“They spent several days here, working from sunrise to sunset, to make sure they could obtain as much data as possible,” he added.

The governor has designated the county as in a state of emergency, as has the Kent County Commission. City commissioners did the same for Grand Rapids. The local designations run through May 24.

Stewart said FEMA will recommend what action the Obama administration should take regarding flood relief funding.

Woolford said the county is still accepting reports of damage from individuals and business owners online.

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