Lansing— Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Schauer plans to get his hands dirty Thursday helping a Royal Oak resident clean out her flooded basement.
Schauer’s plan to head to Metro Detroit to assess the damage of Monday’s flooding comes after Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak chastised him Wednesday for criticizing the state’s response to the flooding from afar.
Schauer was in Grand Rapids Wednesday morning when he issued a statement calling on Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to declare a state of emergency in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Schauer was in the northern Lower Peninsula earlier in the week.
By mid-day Wednesday, Snyder issued a disaster declaration for the three counties.
Later in the afternoon, the Republican governor issued another statement saying his office was working closely with top congressional Democrats such as Reps. John Dingell of Dearborn, Sandy Levin of Royal Oak and Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township to secure federal funds for disaster relief.
Snyder interrupted a week-long tour of the Upper Peninsula on Tuesday to fly back to survey southeast Michigan’s flooded freeways from a state police helicopter.
“Mark Schauer has no idea what the situation is in southeast Michigan because he’s too busy campaigning hundreds of miles away,” Schostak said in a statement. “Mark Schauer is shooting from the hip on an emergency situation, showing zero leadership at a time of crisis.”
Late Wednesday, Schauer’s campaign said the former congressman from Battle Creek would survey flood damage in Oakland County with Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison while “personally helping a senior citizen clean out her basement.”
Schauer used his criticism of the Snyder administration’s storm response to get in a jab at the economy.
“With one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, any unnecessary delay in re-opening our major highways puts our economy at risk,” Schauer said in a statement.
Most Metro Detroit freeways reopened by late Wednesday afternoon.