HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - Federal, state and local officials will tour areas affected by April's flooding as they determine what federal assistance is appropriate.
Nineteen counties -- six of them in West Michigan counties -- and two cities were declared disaster areas by Gov. Rick Snyder after the flooding.
That declaration was the first step in a process that may bring some federal relief, but there isn't yet a timetable for when that might happen.
After the waters from the Grand other rivers washed across West Michigan, local disaster assessment teams fanned out to see how much damage was done. When they sent reports to the governor, he declared the areas impacted as disaster zone.
"It starts the process to work with the federal government. We'll be working with FEMA -- the federal emergency management people -- and having them do an assessment of those various counties and areas on what damage was done and what may be possible and what's appropriate," Snyder, who was in Holland Wednesday for Tulip Time, explained.
Thursday, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, along with federal officials and Ottawa County leaders, will conduct preliminary damage assessments in Grand Rapids and Ionia, Kent, Newaygo and Ottawa Counties. Five teams will look into damage to public infrastructure, businesses and homes.
"We may be knocking on doors," Beth Thomas, Ottawa County Emergency Management director, said in a statement. "It would be helpful for those with significant damage to have information readily available."
It's the first step in determining what, if any, federal assistance will be made available to those affected by the flooding.
"Hopefully, it's something that will move along fairly promptly," Snyder said.
Snyder also told 24 Hour News 8 that he has been to visit some of the areas affected and met with emergency workers when he was in the area for a commencement speech. He said he "didn't want to make it a new event out of it."
It might be December but that is not stopping some people from "hanging 10" in Michigan.
A driver escaped safely after its vehicle crashed into the Grand River in Ottawa County Friday morning.
We get a brief break from the "lake-effect machine" Friday.