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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - During a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said that after the Grand River crested at 21.85 feet on Sunday night, it is expected to begin to recede at the rate of a about a foot per day.
On Sunday, Heartwell and the Grand Rapids city manager and fire chief surveyed the flooding damage along the Grand River and Plaster Creek from a Michigan State Police helicopter.
Heartwell said that it was apparent that all the preventative efforts that the city took, including strategic construction of flood walls and berms, as well as storm water infrastructure, prevented damage to the city's wastewater treatment plant, as well as to hundreds of homes and businesses.
The mayor also said that the placement of thousands of sandbags along the river and in key areas and the more than 300 volunteers who came out to lend a hand helped to keep floodwater from spilling over both sides of river.
While floodwaters on the Grand River had already receded two inches as of Monday morning, Heartwell said that things could change dramatically if an excessive amount of rain falls in the next few days.
He also said that while the river may not be rising anymore, the city's work was far from over and the damage done to business and homes would need to be assessed.
"The call for volunteers will not go silent," Heartwell said. "In the coming weeks and months, as the floodwaters recede, the heart and soul that Grand Rapidians and the West Michigan region put into protecting our city will be needed again to restore it.
Heartwell said that cleanup efforts would be required and urged citizens to listen for volunteer opportunities.
Monetary donations can also be made to the city for flood relief efforts:
- To make a donation with a credit card: Call the city treasurer's office at 616.456.3020 or go to www.grcity.us/floodrelief to get a credit card form
- To make a donation with a check: Make checks payable to "GR Treasurer - Flood Relief" and send it to the treasurer's office at 300 Monroe Ave. NW, Rm. 220, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
City officials also reminded citizens to make safety a priority and adhere to the following guidelines:
- Despite receding waters, banks and concrete walkways and roads near the Grand River can be treacherous due to swift currents. Stay away from flooded areas.
- Be patient with all requests not related to flooding to the city for the next week
- Residents can pick up a maximum of 100 sandbags at 201 Market Street SW, Grand Rapids.
Safety issues related to flooding should be reported to the following numbers:
- Manholes and stormwater or sewer maintenance: 616.456.3246
- Emergencies: 911
- Flooded streets: 616.456.3232
For full coverage of West Michigan flooding from 24 Hour News 8, click here .
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