Flood damage along Kalamazoo River: ‘We have nothing’

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
Jeanne Kendall home 022818_488283

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The floodwaters in Kalamazoo are receding, but the cleanup is just beginning.

The Kalamazoo River flooded nearly an entire neighborhood in Kalamazoo Township. For those returning home, the scene is almost too much to comprehend.

“The water was up to here,” said Jeanne Kendall, pointing to a mark on the wall above her head.

Kendall says she can’t move back into her flooded house — at least, not yet.

“We have nothing, absolutely nothing right now,” she said.Inside woodtv.com:Photos of February flooding | Full flood coverage

Her home is nearly inaccessible as floodwaters still surround it.

“We don’t even have power yet, so we can’t even use the pumps,” Kendall said.

With no flood insurance and getting by on disability benefits, Kendall wonders how she will find the money to replace the furnace, duct work, kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.

“We just start one piece at a time hauling everything out to a dumpster,” she said, “that they will hopefully provide for us because we can’t even afford that right now.”

Kendall hasn’t been staying at the shelter the American Red Cross is running in Kalamazoo because it won’t allow her dogs. She’s been living in a nearby Motel 6, but she says the money for that runs out Friday.

“Another reason why I’m trying to get into (my house) to get this upstairs cleaned up, because maybe we can all fit up here and we’ll be OK. With a couple electric skillets, we can cook, but we don’t have heat,” she said.

Her bathroom was also destroyed in the flood.

“That’s the only bathroom we have,” she said. “We’ll have to use buckets.”

Kendall has a GoFundMe account set up to help pay for her recovery costs.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are giving away cleanup kits until 6 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday the Lakewood Fire Station at 3100 E. Lake Street in Kalamazoo Township. You can also call 211 for information on resources.

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