Governor declares 'state of disaster' for Osceola, Newaygo counties
A state of disaster has been declared by the Governor for Newaygo and Osceola counties after severe storms, melting snow and heavy rain caused serious flooding and wind damage.
The declaration of a state of disaster allows the state to make resources available to help with local response and recovery efforts in the area.
"Our state and local emergency response and volunteer services have been the backbone for responding to this incident," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "I commend them for their efforts for protecting the public health and safety of our citizens during the severe weather and flooding."
Both counties were severely affected by flooding that forced many to evacuate their homes.
The Governor's office says public health and safety is also a concern because of damaged structures, contaminated water and loss of utility services.
The declaration will allow the state's emergency management and homeland security division of the Michigan State Police to help coordinate disaster response.