State Police Remind Residents to Use Caution in Aftermath of Wind Storm

Contact: Dale George, EMHSD PIO, 517-284-3962

March 9, 2017

Michiganders are reminded to use caution as clean-up efforts are underway following the fast-moving storm that traveled through the region Wednesday leaving power outages, fallen trees and wind damage.
Damage assessments are still being completed, but as of this morning, nearly 875,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were reported to be without power.

Gov. Rick Snyder has activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center to closely monitor and share information as reports of storm damage and power outages across the state become available from local communities and utilities.

Personnel from the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) continue to monitor weather conditions and remain in contact with local emergency management personnel to provide assistance as needed; however, no requests for state resources have been made at this time.

“During yesterday’s storm, many communities across the state experienced some degree of property damage, downed trees and power outages,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “As clean-up begins, we want residents to be safe and aware of dangers from unstable structures, downed power lines and hanging tree branches and limbs.”

In the aftermath of the storms, it’s important to follow some general safety precautions, including:

  •  Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to police and the utility company.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
  • Avoid actions that can result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide: 
    • Do not use a grill indoors.
    • Do not use an unvented gas or kerosene heater.
    • Do not use a generator in the house or garage.
    • Do not use an oven or stove to heat your home.
  • Use extreme caution when driving, especially if traffic signals are out. Once a traffic signal stops working, the intersection becomes and uncontrolled intersection and it reverts back to the right-of-way rules of the Michigan Vehicle Code, which states that the major street or roadway has the right-of-way at the intersection and the side streets or less major roadway must yield the right-of-way to the other vehicles. All vehicles at an uncontrolled intersection should always use due care and caution when proceeding through the intersection.
  • Avoid driving through standing water and flooded roadways. Remember: “Turn around, don’t drown."
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has sustained damaged.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris. Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.

Anyone needing assistance should contact their local emergency management agency or call 2-1-1.
Personnel with the MSP/EMHSD will continue to monitor the situation and take prudent action should conditions warrant.

“Michigan’s number one threat is severe weather and these storms serve as a reminder of the importance of being prepared,” Kelenske said. “A prepared Michigan is a resilient Michigan, which includes having an emergency plan and basic supply kit in every household.”

For more preparedness tips about what to do before, during and after a storm or power outage, visit www.michigan.gov/beprepared.