This page will continue to be updated as new resources and information become available. Last updated 03/19/2018 5:00 pm
Vital Flood Damage Information
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PLEASE DO NOT GO INTO RIVERFRONT PARK OR FLOOD WATERS! CONTAMINATION MAY EXIST.
Be Red Cross Ready: Flood Safety Checklist
- Multi-Agency Relief Center (MARC) - Hours & Location This Week
- Press Release Affected City Parks & Trail Clean-up Plans 03/12/18 16:30 hrs
- State of Michigan Announces Assistance for Low-Income Residents Impacted by Lower Michigan Flooding.
- Press Release Efforts to Help Flood Victims Appreciated 03/08/18 16:00 hrs
- Press Release Flood Victims: Report Damages & Needs 03/06/18 1600 hrs
- Help for Flood Victims - Team Rubicon
- Press Release City of Niles Flood Update 03/05/18 16:00 hours
- Press Release County Health Department - Staying Safe & Healthy
- County Health Department - Health Concerns with Flooding
- Press Release from Attorney General Bill Schuette 03/01/18
- Press Release 02/28/18:00 hours
- Press Release 02/27/18:10 hours
- Free Flood Dumpsters This Weekend!
- Press Release 2/26/18 18:00 hours
Week of 2/26/18 – 3/2/18: As of Monday 2/26/18 at 9:00am EST, the St Joseph River was still at moderate flooding levels measuring 14.63ft. Forecast models show the river does not return to non-flood stage until after March 5th.
Clean-up is really just beginning as the St. Joseph River is not expected to completely return to a non-flood state until next week. In the coming weeks, the clearance of debris and restoration of affected areas will be great and quite costly. As of this Friday 2/23/18, City crews had identified 46 homes and 9 commercial structures that took on floodwater.
Affected areas also include Riverfront Park between the YMCA and Fort Street, the City’s Waste Water Plant which continues to operate at full capacity and the City’s bus system, the Dial-A-Ride, which is temporarily operating out of City’s Law Enforcement Complex and Plym Park including the golf course.
Please take caution near barricaded roads. Until City engineers inspect for structural damage that could cause the roads to collapse, please do not cross barriers and other road blocks. This process may take 7-14 days as it is important that we carefully inspect for the safety of our community and those traveling along our roads.
The IN-MI Rivervalley Trail that runs through Niles remains flooded in most areas and is not safe for use. We ask that everyone find alternative walking routes and to please stay off of the trail near the St. Joseph River until further notice.
Anyone that observes damage to a road in the flood zone or other municipal infrastructure is asked to please call the City of Niles and report your observations.
While the City has declared a local State of Emergency the chances are very low that financial assistance would be available for individual residents. Through this declaration the City of Niles and the County of Berrien have done everything required to make assistance possible should it become available from the Federal Government.
View past flood updates & information (week of 2/20/18-2/23/18)
My Home or Business Flooded. What Should I Do?
- Berrien County is coordinating flood response and assessment. Please plan on visiting their website at: http://www.berriencounty.org/1465/2018-Flooding-Information or calling
- There is a call center residents can access by calling 211 from a landline phone offered by the Berrien County Emergency Operations Center.
- Berrien County is asking that those affected by the flood complete the web-form located online at http://www.berriencounty.org/FormCenter/Emergency-Management-14/Report-Disaster-Damage-66
- Berrien County officials continue to work closely with local emergency personnel to evaluate the aftermath of widespread flooding in Berrien county following severe weather and intense rain in February 2018
- Impacted citizens and business owners are encouraged to report personal property damage using the phone numbers listed below.
- Do not call 911 to report flood damage. Please call Berrien County – 1-800-815-5485 (This number will be staffed beginning at 9:00am Monday, February 26, 2018)
- To assist with insurance claims, individuals should take an inventory of valuables and belongings, including taking photographs or a video
- Vehicle owners should report any damages to their auto insurance company
Flooding, Mold & Private Wells:
The Berrien County Health Department advises residents with water well systems to inspect the area around their well for flooding. If flood waters have impacted the well system, drinking water may become contaminated. If the well head is damaged, compromised, or has been submerged in flood water, residents should immediately discontinue use of the well water for drinking, cooking, and/or bathing and should use bottled water until their well system is safe for use again. After flood waters have receded, residents can contact the Berrien County Health Department at 269-926-7121 for more information on how to test their well water system for safety.
Informational Resources & Helpful Links:
- Michigan DEQ Factsheet: Protecting Your Private Water Supply in a Flood Emergency
- CDC Website: Flood Preparedness
- Cleaning Up Your Home After a Flood
- Food and Water Safety After a Flood
- EPA: Floods and Mold Growth
- Michigan Prepares: Floods
Berrien County Flood Related Information:
- Animals and Roadway reminders
- Be Safe during Flood Cleanup Efforts
- Beware of Home Restoration Scams after Flooding
- I&M Statement - Reconecting Power after a Flood
- Joint Press Conference February 25, 2018
- Local State of Emergency
- Local State of Emergency Volunteer Donations
- Mental Behaviorial Health Reminders
- Press Release - Widespread Flooding in Berrien County - 2018
- Press Release - Widespread Flooding in Berrien County Update 1
- Press Release - Widespread Flooding in Berrien County Update 2
- Press Release - Widespread Flooding in Berrien County Update 3
- Press Release February 22 2018
- Reporting of Flood Damage to Local Officials
- Safely reconnecting utility services
- State of Emergency Signed Notice
- Stay Safe and Healthy During and After a Flood
- United Way Volunteer Services
- Use Caution when Driving in Flooded Areas
There is a call center residents can access by calling 211 from a landline phone offered by the Berrien County Emergency Operations Center.
Affected residents needing assistance in clean-up efforts and those interested in helping homeowners are encouraged to contact the American Red Cross: (269) 556-9619 or http://www.redcross.org the Salvation Army: (269) 684-2660 or http://saniles.org/ or Ferry Street Resource Center: (269) 687-9860 or http://www.ferrystreet.org/.
The City will provide free electrical safety inspections prior to reconnecting utilities. Please call the City’s Utility Division at 269-683-4700 or Building Safety Division at 269-683-2374 to schedule your free electrical safety inspection.
The City will be working with the Southeast Berrien County (SEBC) Landfill to provide landfill dumpsters to help affected businesses and neighborhoods in an effort to help eliminate trash buildup and waste. We cannot order and place dumpsters until the waters have fully receded. These dumpsters will be available on the Friday afterthe flooding has fully receded between 8am and 5pm as well as that Saturday until Noon. More information will be posted on this website and at local media outlets in the coming days.
Additionally, the SEBC Landfill offers all City of Niles residents One (1) Free Dump Pass (landfill voucher) once a year. The dump pass is available only one time per year and allows approximately one pick-up truck of materials to be taken to the landfill. Free Dump Passes are available in the Building Safety Division Office inside the Niles Fire Station Complex located at 1345 E Main St. Niles MI 49120.
The SEBC Landfill is located at 1540 Mayflower Rd. Niles, MI 49120
Hours: Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm & Saturday 8am – 12pm
The SEBC Landfill CANNOT take free liquids, paints or solvents, cement, bricks or concrete, refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners (refrigerants), brush, leaves or grass, household or outside chemicals.
My Building Flooded What Should I Be Worried About?
- Keep your family safe. Keep them away from the flood water, wet materials and leaking or spilled chemicals as well as downed powerlines.
- Contact building safety or a licensed contractor if you are concerned about the structural integrity of your property, do not enter it.
- Watch for illnesses and hazards that may cause bodily injury as there may be dangerous contamination in the flood waters or materials inundated with flood water.
- Illnesses could come from contact with flood waters or materials that have come in contact with flood waters which may contain organisms found in sewage, soils and animal waste.
- Allergic or asthmatic episodes may occur while occupying or cleaning damp, moldy buildings
- Exposure to carbon monoxide from gas-powered equipment, such as generators, pressure washers, or water pumps, used indoors can cause serious illness or even death. Please follow all manufacture use guidelines carefully when cleaning up water.
- Do not dump chemicals, paint, and cleaners down the drain, in the toilet, sewers or in the yard.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Gas powered generators and pumps can create dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Follow manufacture guidelines on how to use these tools.
- Do not use fuel-burning devices indoors or in confined spaces or within 10 ft of windows, doors or other air intakes. Opening doors and windows, or using a fan will not work to prevent a build up inside.
- Protect hands, feet, eyes and mouth from contaminates while cleaning by wearing protective clothing, gloves, footwear, masks and safety glasses.
- Remove standing water as quickly as possible and discard wet items that cannot be thoroughly dried.
- Properly dispose of waste. Do not burn items. All properties in the City are eligible for a free trip to the Southeast Berrien County Landfill each year. Certificates are available at the Building Safety Department.
- Do not attempt to restore power without contacting the utility department.
- Contact your insurance agent.
- Review available flood clean up guide from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Institute of Inspection, and others.
What Can I Do to Help?
Today the water is still dangerously high. Please keep your family and pets safe. Keep them away from the flood water, wet materials and leaking or spilled chemicals as well as downed powerlines.
Those interested in helping should contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Ferry Street Resource Center or other support agencies that will provide direct assistance to those affected.
The City will begin coordinating park, street and downtown clean-up once the waters fully recede and areas are cleared for public use. If you are interested in helping with municipal clean-up efforts please email Sanya Vitale, Community Development Director at CommunityDevelopment@nilesmi.org.
Where Can I Get Help?
The City has prepared this webpage that will outline nationally recognized best practices for post-flood clean up and helpful links and telephone numbers for support entities like the Red Cross, EPA, FEMA and others who can help or provide advice. All properties in the City are eligible for a free trip to the Southeast Berrien County Landfill each year. Certificates are available at the Building Safety Department.
We will continue working to provide support when reconnecting utilities and inspecting structures for occupancy safety. Please do not attempt to restore power without contacting the utility department.
We are working to organize staff and volunteers to clean up streets, infrastructure, parks and other public areas and encourage affected property owners to seek help from friends, family, churches and support agencies when beginning individual cleanup efforts.
- American Red Cross, Repairing Your Flooded Home: www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340135_file_cont333_lang0_150.pdf
- FEMA Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/725
- FEMA After a Flood: The First Steps: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3396
- FEMA Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House From Flooding: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/480
- FEMA Hurricane Sandy Issue Paper: Guidance for Turning the Power Back On: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/29788
- FEMA Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fact Sheet #1: Cleaning Flooded Buildings: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/31368?id=7128
- FEMA Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3729
- FloodSmart: www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart
- National Weather Service Flood Safety Awareness: www.floodsafety.noaa.gov
- National Weather Service Hurricane Flooding: A Deadly Inland Danger:www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/InlandFlooding.pdf
- National Weather Service NOAA River Forecast: www.water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=bmx
- National Weather Service The Hidden Danger: Low Water Crossing: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/TheHiddenDangerEnglish.pdf
- National Weather Service Tropical Cyclone Inland Flooding: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/TropicalCycloneInlandFlooding.pdf
- National Weather Service Turn Around Don’t Drown®: www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/tadd-resources.shtml#brochures
- Ready: www.Ready.gov/floods
- USGS WaterAlert: http://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/wateralert
- EPA: https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/flooding#recover
- EPA: https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/dealing-debris-and-damaged-buildings
Where Can I Get the Best View of the Flood?
We appreciate everyone’s curiosity. Many of us have never seen anything like this in our lives and hopefully we never will again. That said, please avoid Riverfront Park and all barricaded streets until further notice. We ask this to protect you from dangerous currents as well as contamination. We are also concerned about additional damage when vehicles traverse the water, get stuck or throw additional water further into already affected properties.
Downtown Niles, MI flood footage- 02/22/2018
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Downtown Niles, MI post-flood footage- 02/28/2018
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