Banks donate significant funds to Michigan flood relief

After the worst flooding the Midland, Mich., area has seen in 30 years,Horizon Bank and Chemical Bank have stepped up to lead donations to a disaster relief fund.

Towns around Midland, Mich., were hit hard with between four and seven inches of rain the night of June 22. After the worst flooding in 30 years, at least four counties in the area declared states of emergency. Michigan’s lieutenant governor, Brian Calley, also declared Isabella and Midland counties in a state of disaster.

The amount of damage due to flood waters, power outages, washed-out roads and more is still being calculated, according to Sharon Mortensen, president and CEO of Midland Area Community Foundation in Midland. “We have been told that the damage to residents was approximately $85 million. This number does not include infrastructure and business damage,” she said.

As a result, the foundation has set up a disaster relief fund. “The funds are being used to provide immediate relief to residents impacted by the flood,” she said. “So far we have given gift cards to residents, brought in three food trucks to distribute food items and are planning to provide vouchers or gift cards for other needed items.”

The fund has raised nearly $200,000 so far, and in large part has three banks to thank. Talmer, Mich.-based Chemical Bank donated $25,000 to the fund. Indiana’s Horizon Bank, which is acquiring Wolverine Bank in Midland, is donating $50,000 to the foundation’s relief fund on behalf of Wolverine Bank; Horizon also pledged another $50,000 for undesignated disaster relief in the Great Lakes Bay region.

“It is so gratifying to see individuals and businesses stepping forward to see how they can help their neighbors. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to those who have donated and to those who have volunteered,” Mortenson said. “We are thankful for the generosity of banks as well as other businesses. We are thankful to have such wonderful corporate citizens in Midland County.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends and neighbors in the Great Lakes Bay region who have been impacted by the severe flooding in our area,” said David Dunn, president and CEO of Wolverine Bank. “We hope that this donation will help with immediate relief needs as well as recovery efforts.”

Chemical Bank also is offering a no-fee, no-interest loan to those impacted if they qualify.