Storm Cleanup Begins in Several Michigan Counties; State Police Remind Michiganders to Use Caution

Contact: Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD, Public Information Officer, 517-336-6464
Agency: State Police

Aug. 3, 2015

LANSING.  Clean-up efforts are underway in several Michigan counties after fast-moving storms traveled through the Lower Peninsula last night resulting in power outages, fallen trees and structure damage.

“Our thoughts go out to all who experienced damages during Sunday’s severe weather,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “We will continue to be engaged with our local governments and communities to ensure Michiganders affected by these storms have everything they need to recover.”

Although damage assessments are ongoing, storm impacts include:

  • As of 11 a.m. Monday, more than 181,000 customers are without power across the state. Some affected customers may not have their power restored until late Thursday.
  • Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties have each declared a local state of emergency due to widespread damages and power outages, activating their emergency operations plans and administering local aid and assistance.
  • Glen Arbor Township in Leelanau County experienced heavy tree damage and downed power lines. The National Weather Service (NWS) will be surveying the site today to determine if straight-line winds or a tornado caused the damage.
  • The NWS confirmed a tornado near the village of Owendale in Huron County. The NWS will be surveying the site today to determine the tornado’s size and path.
  • There have been no reports of any deaths related to these storms.

Personnel from the MSP/EMHSD continue to work with local emergency management coordinators throughout the state to provide assistance as needed.  At this time, there have been no requests from any county or jurisdiction for state assistance.

Citizens needing assistance or guidance should contact their local emergency management agency or call 2-1-1. 

Storm Cleanup Tips

As cleanup begins, individuals should be aware of the dangers they may face in the aftermath of the storm. 

To stay safe:

  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Always stay 25 feet away from a downed power line.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power.
  • Avoid actions that can result in carbon monoxide poisoning:
    • Do not use a grill indoors.
    • Do not use a generator in the house or garage.
    • Always point a portable generator’s exhaust AWAY from your home.
  • Use extreme caution when driving, especially if traffic signals are out.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been 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.
  • Beware of scam artists. Always verify that individuals and businesses hired to do work are legitimate. 

Personnel with the MSP/EMHSD continue to monitor the situation and will take prudent action should conditions warrant. For the latest updates, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after severe weather, go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is responsible for coordinating state and federal resources to assist local government in response and relief activities in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as coordinating homeland security initiatives and various federal grants.