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Volunteers Help Spread The Word of Lansing Evacuations

Lansing mayor Andy Schor expects nearly 300 homes to be severely flooded. A lot of concern is in the Urbandale neighborhood west of US 127 and north of I-496. WKAR went with along with two volunteers as they spread the word about evacuation orders for the Urbandale neighborhood in Lansing on Wednesday evening. 

As temperatures and daylight lowered in the Urbandale neighborhood Wednesday night, Egypt Krohn walked door to door. 

In her hands, a flyer saying in big bold letters Notice of Flood Evacuation. It says it is not safe to stay in these homes. It gives the address of the shelter that will open on Thursday.

"It's definitely something to take seriously," said Krohn to a woman who is house sitting. "We’re not under a mandatory evacuation but it’s a strongly recommended evacuation."

As we walk up to another house, Krohn explains she’s not just a volunteer, she is hlelping inform her neighbors. 

"I certainly have been feeling very stressed out and emotional all day," said Krohn. "My house should be fine. I live just outside the flood plain. But these are my neighbors and my community that I care a lot about."

Joining Krohn is another volunteer and neighbor, Patti Ackley..

"Yes I live in this neighborhood, I farm in this neighborhood, many of my friends are in this neighborhood," said Ackley. "I’m absolutely concerned about the welfare of my community."

Ackley is a Lansing native who remembers the last time major floodwaters inundated this neighborhood.

"The last big flood in [19]75 my Dad was actually working at MSU and he had to boat out to the campus to move all the main frame computers," said Ackley. "So we haven’t seen anything that could potentially be this serious in quite some time."

As Krohn goes house to house, Ackley checks off a list for the city showing which residents they’ve reached.. and which homes they left a flyer because no one was home.

Ackley is concerned some neighbors may not have the resources to pack up and move everything in a matter of hours.

"I hope that we can walk around and reach some people and let them know there will be some resources made available to them to help them," said Ackley.

Leaving the homes behind, does not mean leaving pets. The city urges people to call 211 if they need a temporary home.

"My pets and my family and everything we have a safe place to go, so really I’m going to be thinking about the things I leave behind," said Victoria Bailey, one of the neighbors who received a flier. "We’re kinda winging it, not really sure what’s happening."

While Bailey lans to be gone by Thursday afternoon.. another resident said he may wait a little longer to see what happens. The rain earlier this week has already damaged his home.

"I just got finished spending 3 hours pumping my basement out water just a while ago and I had to restart my water heater and everything," the man said.

Across Lansing.. volunteers like Egypt and Patti canvased low lying areas hoping their neighbors will take the flood threat seriously.

"I think its important to be out here helping our neighbors," said Krohn. "We’re relative newcomers to the neighborhood. But we care about the neighborhood and we care about making sure people are safe."

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