Shelters open in W MI amid widespread outages

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Partnering with the city, Grand Rapids Public Schools opened two overnight shelters Thursday for those who are without power.

The shelters opened at Union High School (1800 Tremont Blvd. NW) and Ottawa Hills High School (2055 Rosewood Ave. SE) at 7 p.m. Food is available. Those who are oxygen-dependant should go to Union.

Maranda Aalsburg and her housemates were among those who took advantage of the shelter Thursday night after losing power around 10 a.m.

“It started to flicker. We’re like, ‘OK, everybody grab your power banks for your phones and get ready to deal with this,'” Aalsburg said. “I’m really crossing fingers that it’ll be back on tomorrow.”

GRPS has canceled classes for much of the last two weeks, including Friday, because of snow and then this week’s ice and power outages. Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, who has worked in the district for more than four decades and was a student there, said she can’t remember such a stretch. 

Kids’ Food Basket announced Friday the following food distribution sites in Grand Rapids and Muskegon:

  • The Rapid Central Station, 250 Grandville Avenue SW in Grand Rapids, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
  • Hispanic Center, 1204 Grandville Avenue in Grand Rapids, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. 
  • Boys and Girls Club, 726 Madison Avenue SE in Grand Rapids, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kids’ Food Basket, 2055 Oak Industrial Drive Suite C in Grand Rapids, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. 
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, 55 E. Sherman in Muskegon, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday
  • Edgewood Elementary, 3028 Howden Street in Muskegon Heights, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
  • East Park Manor, 615 Hovey Avenue in Muskegon, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. 

Tens of thousands of Consumers Energy customers in West Michigan remained without power Friday after strong winds and lake-effect snow following two rounds of freezing rain, weighed down tree limbs and snapped power lines.


Walker police say the upstairs community room at Fire Station No. 3 has been opened as a warming shelter. The station is located at 1470 3 Mile Road NW. The warming area has coffee, water, snacks, charging outlets, but no cots.

In Rockford, the middle school at 397 E. Division St. NE opened as a shelter at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

In Plainfield Township, Northview’s Highlands Middle School is serving as a community warming center until 12 a.m. Saturday. 

In Ionia County, the American Red Cross and emergency managers opened an overnight shelter Wednesday at the Ionia Armory, located at 439 W. Main Street in Ionia. Food will be available. Transportation assistance is available by calling 211.

Women and children can go to Rave in Ionia at 850 E. Lincoln Ave.

Jesus Non-Denominational Church in Greenville is offering shelter for those without power. The chuch at 9206 West Peck Road asks people planning to come to call first at 616.550.4667. Those staying at the church should bring their own pillows, blankets and cots.

“If they can make the drive, come on out. We have some hot stew, we have some spaghetti,” Pastor Tom Turner said. “We have a nice place for them to hang out. So it’s anybody and even their pets can come out.”

Also in Greenville, Have Mercy is located at 117 W. Cass St. and the Red Cross opened a shelter at Greenville Middle School, 1321 W. Chase St.

Ottawa County is working with the American Red Cross to open a shelter for residents facing a long-term power outage. Those interested in staying at the shelter should call 1.800.249.0911 and leave their contact information to reserve a spot.

Anyone going to a shelter should bring medication, clothing, pillows, blankets, important documents and hygiene supplies.

If you’re without power and need help, call 211 for resources.


People without power who have pets also have options. The Kent County Animal Shelter is offering free pet boarding for residents seeking shelter at Ottawa Hills High School, Union High School, North Rockford Middle School or the Walker Fire Department. 

Residents are encouraged to seek alternative housing first if possible, since space is limited.

Owners will register their pet with the KCAS before the animal transported to a boarding facility for the weekend. Owners should bring ID, vaccination reccords and any pet medications needed. Cats should also come in carriers.

Vaccinations will be given to pets without vaccination records and unlicensed dogs will also be licensed at no cost to owners. Pet owners will not be fined for unlicensed dogs during the emergency.

KCAS says support was made possible through the BISSELL Pet Foundation, C-SNIP, Humane Society of West Michigan, West Michigan Veterinary Medical Assocation, John Ball Zoo and other animal professionals.

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