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Berrien Springs residents waiting for federal aid, state disaster declaration

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. --- Home owners affected by February floods are urging state governor to declare area as a disaster emergency.

River Springs Estates in Berrien Springs was hit the hardest during the floods. More than 30 mobile homes have been condemned, while the rest are waiting on a green light from building inspectors.

“We lost pretty much everything,” said Tina Baker, who has lived at the mobile home park with her family for 13 years.

Baker said they do not have insurance for their mobile home and has to apply for emergency funds. However, Baker, and other flooding victims in southwest Michigan, cannot receive federal aid until Governor Rick Snyder declares the area as a disaster emergency.

In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb has declared 26 counties as disaster emergencies since February 24. This is a step every state must make to request assistance, like FEMA, from the federal government.

“We need the governor to declare it a disaster area so we can get FEMA in,” said Raymond Callander, owner of River Springs Estates. “Here we are, a week and a half, I think it’s a little tardy.”

Congressman Fred Upton visited the mobile home park on Saturday, where county officials urged him to ask Governor Snyder to make the declaration.

“If you got this many houses and this many people affected, we feel we deserve that all the way down to Niles and even all the way up closer to St. Joseph,” said Callander.

 

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