Governor: No Emergency Resources For Shiawassee County
April 2, 2019
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has denied a request declaring a state of emergency for Shiawassee County and associated disaster relief following two tornadoes.
On March 14th, two tornadoes damaged 136 structures including 94 homes, 4 businesses, 16 barns, and 22 RV's. There were no deaths or injuries. The total cost of damage is estimated at nearly $10 million to homes and businesses in Shiawassee County. Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeremy Root said they are “obviously disappointed in the governor's decision". He commended local efforts that showed the resilience of the county, saying local fire and law enforcement agencies, with partners from the Michigan State Police, demonstrated the value of their efforts to prepare and plan for disasters.
Dale George with the MSP Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division issued a statement about the denial saying a state of disaster or emergency declaration is primarily designed to provide state assistance in the form of personnel, supplies, equipment, and materials when the situation is beyond the capability and control of local government. George said in this situation, Shiawassee County did a great job in implementing emergency plans and utilizing mutual aid agreements to address threats to public health, safety, and property, and in addressing the basic needs of the affected residents. George says requests for state resources were minimal. He noted that after an emergency or disaster is declared, under extraordinary circumstances, the Governor can provide state financial assistance through the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund when federal assistance is not available. However, he reiterated that is only if the costs place an unreasonably great fiscal demand on the county or municipality. George says the information provided to the state from Shiawassee County estimated costs to public agencies at $150,000. He said although the county incurred expenses in responding to and recovering from the storm, the local commitment did not place unreasonably great demands upon the county or clearly demonstrate exhaustion of local effort. Facebook photo. (JM)