GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - During a Saturday afternoon press conference in which he declared the City of Grand Rapids in a State of Emergency, Mayor George Heartwell asked for the public's help in preparing sand bags to help with the flooding.
The city is asking for volunteers to participate in filling the bags at 201 Market Street SW starting at 8 a.m. Sunday.
Heartwell said the city would utilize the efforts of as many volunteers that show up.
A day after saying that he would not declare a State of Emergency for the city, the mayor did just that Saturday afternoon. He cited, among others, concerns for flooding downtown Grand Rapids buildings, like the Plaza Towers and the Courtyard Hotel which were evacuated Saturday morning .
He also said the declaration would put the city in line for state and federal assistance should the need arise. Heartwell said he did not expect that would be the case.
The sandbags will primarily be used to protect the city's water system should flood waters cross Market Street and threaten the wastewater treatment facility for the city.
City officials also renewed their request for residents to lower usage of the sewage system by minimizing flushing toilets, showering, and otherwise draining water.
Anyone who would like to volunteer can sign up here at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council or call Daniel Schoonmaker at 616.451.3051 x28.
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