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Portland pulling itself back together

Posted: 11:35 PM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-19 04:35:45Z

PORTLAND, Mich. — The flood waters in Portland haven't gone down yet but people are starting to pull their lives back together. The cleanup job ahead of them is huge, so everyone is pitching in to help.

The Family Farm and Home store is stocking up on pumps, dryers and bleach so it's ready to go for those needing to clean up after the flood.

"These customers are the customers that come see me every day and they need to be able to come to us in a time of need," said Tara Bonter, Family Farm and Home store manager.

The Family Farm and Home store normally carry supplies like pumps, hoses and dehumidifiers. However, they are stocking up even more after the ice jam that caused flooding downtown.

"To make sure that we had everything the community needs as they started pumping out their basements and just dealing with the aftermath of the ice jams," said Bonter.

People who live or work in downtown Portland near the river feel the stress daily.

"Seeing all the damage, something you don't really expect and there it is right before your eyes. And it's like, oh my gosh, we have to sort through all that stuff," said Mary Kay Steffes-Schmitz, the owner of Mary's Cove.

Steffes-Schmitz, owns the entire building, from second-story apartments to the first-floor shop to the century-old basement where the damage is.

"My furnace is probably shot; it might not be. We are hoping we can save the computer panel on it and get it dried out," said Steffes-Schmitz.

Mary's daughter, Naomi Steffes, said this is a hard sight to see because she's watched her mother put in lots of dedication and commitment.

"It's awful. It's heart-wrenching, to be honest, because she's worked for everything she has and to see all the stuff demolished and gone. Some of the stuff she could do without, lots of pictures and different things she was planning on selling," said Steffes.

The Family Farm and Home is also offering an additional 10 percent off items and any information that customers might need when it comes to pumping out water or cleaning up.

Portland is hosting a fundraiser called "Wine about the Ice Jams 2019" on Feb. 28. Proceeds will go the community's disaster-relief fund.