LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Severe flooding has prompted leaders in Lansing and Lansing Township to declare a state of emergency.
The announcement was made during a news conference on Wednesday night, following expectations of the worst flooding mid-Michigan has seen in decades.
The declaration follows a couple of days of flooding, ahead of a couple more days of flooding. Rivers are expected to crest some time on Friday.
By declaring a state of emergency, officials say it will allow city officials, police, and emergency responders to have access to more resources to cope with the crisis.
The declaration also follows a request, not a demand, for residents of around a half-dozen neighborhoods in the city and township to evacuate their homes.
If you live in any of the following areas, officials are encouraging you to leave.
- Sycamore park
- Knollwood willow
- Cherry hill
- Tecumseh river
- Ravenswood neighborhood
It’s expected that the Urbandale neighborhood could be hit the hardest.A group of volunteers went door-to-door Wednesday to make that request and let people know what the needed to do. Lansing officials are recommending residents leave by noon on Thursday.
Shelters are also being set up for people who do decide to leave.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said while the city is hoping for the best, it’s preparing for the worst.
While the impact may not seem as dramatic now, because the rain has stopped, the projections for what’s to come aren’t going away.
“We’re going to have widespread flooding throughout the city will all three rivers,” Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said. “The Grand River, the Red Cedar and Sycamore Creek; we expect about 275 families and two dozen businesses to be affected in the city of Lansing.”
Lansing Twp. Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said 80 businesses and roughly 30 residents in the township will be affected.
“It’s been a long time since we had a flood and I know that waters rise and residents, especially in Urbandale, are somewhat apprehensive because they heard about flooding a lot but this is very serious,” Hayes said. “We want you to be safe.”
Both Hayes and MAYOR Schor said all hands are on deck to make sure everyone is prepared and protected.
“We’re ready,” Schor said. “We got it covered and the city is proactively ensuring that our neighbors, that we’re ready to help all of our neighbors in the city.”
“This isn’t something to take lightly,” Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said. “Our job, number one, our top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens and residents.”
Chief Yankowski is hoping that residents understand the seriousness of the situation and not only listen, but also take action.
“The dangers are coming,” Yankowski said. “Water is not something to be messing around with. The power of the water can sweep away a young kid. People can drown in two feet of water very easily.”
Mike Tobin, Lansing’s Emergency Management Chief says crews will be working around the clock to make sure everyone stays safe.
The city has a number of resources available to make sure anyone who needs help, gets it.
“We have put together a phenomenal team to attack this head on,” Chief Tobin said.
“We want to make sure that the most important part of this whole venture, the citizens of both Lansing and Lansing Twp. are first protected and work with us and move forward,” Tobin said. “We will get through this. We are there for you. We’re not going anywhere.”
Letts Community Center in Lansing will open its doors Thursday starting at noon to provide shelter for all those who need it.
The American Red Cross is helping out with that effort and will have volunteers on hand to assist people.
For those who have pets, it’s recommended that you call 2-1-1 for information about a pet shelter.
Stay tuned to 6 News for continuing coverage of this developing story.
For more helpful information, click here.