Volunteers clear snow for those who can’t

Some parts of West Michigan got about a foot of snow

Volunteers clear snow from sidewalks in the Grand Rapids area. (Feb. 25, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on West Michigan — about a foot in some areas — shovelers were out Thursday to help region and its residents dig out.

The storm that rolled through Wednesday and Thursday brought the biggest snowfall totals of the season. Most of West Michigan saw at least a half a foot of snow and several locations picked up close to a foot of snow.

The last time Grand Rapids received that much snow was over a year ago in February of 2015.

Building Bridges Professional Services in Grand Rapids had crews out across Kent County to help clear snow. The program helps build the resumes of hard-working at risk youth who would otherwise not be able to obtain a job.

Many of the lots the youth clear are for the elderly, who can’t physically clear their driveways and sidewalks themselves. The team also spends time clearing vacant lots, making it easier for walkers to get around safely after the snow.

Thursday, the group cleared 60 sidewalks, which works out to about 75,000 pounds of snow.

Volunteers clear snow from sidewalks in the Grand Rapids area. (Feb. 25, 2016)
Volunteers clear snow from sidewalks in the Grand Rapids area. (Feb. 25, 2016)

In Grandville, the Snow Angels program is run purely on volunteer power. The group spends a few hours each snow event clearing snow from fire hydrants and bus stops.

The program was started a few years ago when firefighters began worrying about hidden hydrants. It can take firefighters a few minutes to clear a hydrant, but when responding to a fire, that time is crucial.

Soon, bus stops were added on to help commuters get around without getting soaked in snow.

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