Whitmer: High winds leave multiple counties in state of emergency


FILE- This March 2, 2021 file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. Gov. Whitmer on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, doubled Michigan’s daily COVID-19 vaccination goal to 100,000 shots. She cited continuous week-over-week increases in vaccine allotments the state is receiving and an expanded number of providers who can administer doses. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties today, following severe thunderstorms and severe winds on Aug. 11 and 12.

The counties of Branch, St. Joseph, and Hillsdale experienced winds exceeding 60 miles per hour, which caused damage to trees, property, and infrastructure. In addition to the damage, the storms caused massive power outages throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan.

According to a release from Gov. Whitmer, by declaring a state of emergency, Governor Whitmer has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated area.

The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already been doing in conjunction with local agencies. 

Thank you to the first responders and line-workers who have worked diligently to keep our residents safe and restore power to our communities. We will continue to work closely with Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties and provide needed resources to support recovery efforts.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Branch County issued a local state of emergency on Aug. 13 after a thunderstorm caused widespread damage. On Aug. 14, St. Joseph County issued a local state of emergency after severe storms caused power outages and debris that slowed emergency response. Hillsdale County issued a local state of emergency on Aug. 16 after thunderstorms came through the area.

All three counties requested a declaration from the governor.

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