PORTLAND, Mich. (WLNS) – A flood of support washed over downtown Portland today.
It’s been three full weeks now since the city got pounded by flooding caused by ice jams in the Grand River.
Business owners and home owners are still cleaning up the water damage.
Although the past few weeks in Portland have been tough, the people there say they’re going to continue being “Portland Strong.”
It’s a saying they’ve been living by through these hard times, as they continue to join together and help each other out.
“It’s been very hectic getting the basements cleaned out, we’ve had a lot of water damage,” said Pat Kline, the owner of the Blue Mason Jar in downtown Portland.
Kline says the clean-up process has been extensive.
“We have to get rid of everything that had been touched by the water, cause you know we’ve had bacteria through it,” said Kline.
“Our basement flooded, we lost everything in the basement,” said Julie Dumas, the president of the Portland Area Service Group down the street.
Dumas says they’ve faced the same problem.
“Now we have to recover from that, and we’ve got a long ways to go,” said Dumas.
But the uphill battle isn’t stopping these two women, along with other downtown business owners, from pushing forward.
They took part in the city’s “Wine about the Ice Jam” event tonight, the incentive being wine samples in exchange for support.
“Fifteen businesses open who have different things to offer, unique items, great foods,” said Tina Conner Wellman, the executive director of the Portland Downtown Development Authority.
Wellman says this is just another way to bring the community together.
“Friendly faces around Portland and how Portland remains strong with our resilient businesses,” said Wellman.
Kline and Dumas are continuously grateful for the help.
“Everyone’s been pitching in and helping, so it’s been really great,” said Kline.
“It’s just really important that we stick together and that we keep everything here in Portland, and just keep everything going,” said Dumas.
6 News also spoke with the Portland city manager today who says the water levels downtown are stable right now, but that could change at any moment.
If you’d like to help out the city in its recovery process, click here.