Whitmer refuses Shiawassee County request for disaster relief


The tornadoes that tore through parts of Shiawassee County on March 14 left a trail of destruction 18 miles long.

Now Governor Gretchen Whitmer has turned down the county’s request for a State Declaration of Emergency and disaster relief.

The two tornadoes damaged 136 structures including 94 homes, 4 businesses, 16 barns, and 22 RV’s.

The total cost of damage is estimated at nearly $10 million to homes and businesses in Shiawassee County.

“We are obviously disappointed in the Governors decision,” stated Jeremy Root, County Board Chair. “She called me personally and said she would help and then we received the call last week denying our request, it’s just disappointing.”

Because the State Declaration was denied, assistance in the form of grants and relief for extraordinary expenses is also not available to the county.

In some of the small part-time fire departments the cost of responding to the emergency reached 10% of their annal budget.

Local community efforts continue in the county, with volunteers providing as much assistance as possible.

“Even though we did not receive support from the Governor’s Office, our local efforts showed the resilience of our county,” stated Trent Atkins, Shiawassee County Director of Emergency Management.

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