Kent County shoveling service discontinued

David Evert the Kent County Community Emergency Response Team shovels the walk of John Sirmier. (Jan. 8, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – – Overwhelmed Kent County volunteers will no longer be providing snow removal services.

Because of the large amounts of snow earlier this winter, Kent County had activated the Community Emergency Response Team to help seniors and the disabled to remove snow from their driveways.

CERT was bombarded with requests and had too few volunteers — only three or four. After the first winter storm, the volunteers removed 37 houses. During the most recent storm, they cleared 23 houses.

Wednesday, the director of the United Way’s 211, which facilitated the program, said it will no longer be sending crews to remove snow.

Instead, organizers are suggesting people who need assistance to ask family, friends, neighbors or their church.

They say if West Michigan gets another big snow storm,  CERT will consider sending the volunteers to help out again.

There is no other organized system in the area that provides help with snow removal for seniors and the disabled.

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