Emergency shelters open around Grand Rapids as threat of second round of ice looms

Ice utility poles.PNG
Emergency shelters open around Grand Rapids as threat of second round of ice looms. (WWMT/Andrew Bisset)

A command center opened in Grand Rapids in response to an ice storm as power crews worked to restore power to hundreds of thousands.

The people impacted by the ice storm braced for round two of freezing weather as shelters opened across Ottawa County, Kent County, Ionia County and Montcalm County:

  • North Rockford Middle School, 397 E. Division St. NE, Rockford.
  • Walker Fire Station, 470 3 Mile Rd. NW, Grand Rapids.
  • Ottawa Hills High School, 2055 Rosewood Ave. SE, Grand Rapids.
  • Union High School, 1800 Tremont Blvd. NW, Grand Rapids. People dependent on oxygen tanks should go to this shelter.
  • Ionia Armory, 439 West Main St., Ionia.
  • Rave, which is for women and children only, 850 E. Lincoln Ave., Ionia.
  • Have Mercy, 117 W. Cass St., Greenville.
  • Jesus Non-Denominational Church, 9206 W. Peck Rd., Greenville. People should call 616-550-4667 before going to the church.
  • Greenville Middle School, 1321 W. Chase St., Greenville.

Mel Trotter Ministries also has a list of warming centers and emergency options available for people who have no power or heat.

Anyone needing assistance can contact 211 for help.

Crews with Consumers Energy battled the elements to restore power to people like Gosia Morris, Dan Morris and their foster son Mosmmod Toyub.

The Morris family lost power about 3 p.m. Thursday.

Gosia said, "It was very cold so I put layers of clothes to keep me warm."

Dan said, "I have a generator, but we just tried to start it and it broke so now I've got to fix that to get temporary electricity."

Toyub did his homework by candlelight and without the use of the internet. He hoped his professors would understand.

"No, I don't have anything. I couldn't do anything for you. This is a blank paper for you," he said.

The family could cook on their gas stove, but how to keep the food fresh was a concern.

"We're going to get disease or something, we better put our food outside," Toyub said.

Consumers Energy Spokesman Roger Morgenstern said they have brought 70 crews from Kentucky to help get the power restored.

Morgenstern said, "Our biggest concern is the wind but once the ice comes off the wires we're hopeful the wind won't be as big of a factor."

He said the power may not be restored until Sunday for some people in the area.

Dan said, "We can get by, but Sunday is a long way out."