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Whitmer declares State of Emergency for Branch, St. Joseph, Hillsdale counties after severe weather

Posted at 9:25 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 09:25:08-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Tuesday for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties to address the impacts of severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds on Aug. 11 and 12.

By declaring a state of emergency, Gov. Whitmer has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the area.

The declaration authorizes Michigan State Police/Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what has already been done 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 the community,” Whitmer said. “We will continue to work closely with Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties and provide needed resources to support recovery efforts.”

Branch County declared a local state of emergency on Aug. 13 due to a severe thunderstorm that caused widespread or severe damage.

St. Joseph County did the same on Aug. 14 after severe storms that resulted in power outages and hazardous debris impacting emergency response and restoration efforts.

On Aug. 16, Hillsdale County declared a local state of emergency due to damage from severe thunderstorms.

All three counties requested a governor’s declaration.

By requesting a governor’s declaration, the counties determined local resources aren’t sufficient to address the situation and state assistance is needed to protect health, safety and property.