State of Emergency Declared for Branch Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties
Michigan's Governor declared a state of emergency for Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph Counties after severe storms and winds devastated the area.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph Counties after severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds on August 11 and 12 left a path of destruction. The gallery below shows photos of damage in St. Joseph County.
The declaration comes after leaders of the City of Sturgis, Branch County, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph County officials made local declarations following weeks of clean-up and utility outages. All three counties had requested the governor's declaration.
By doing so, Governor Whitmer has made more state resources available to aid in recovery efforts. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state efforts in conjunction with local agencies.
Preliminary numbers from Consumers Energy on several rounds of storms that hit Michigan on August 11 and 12 show the event as historic for the state. According to a Consumers Energy spokesperson, the storms rank in the top 15. Branch and St. Joseph Counties suffered the brunt of the storm with some areas of destruction a quarter to half-mile long. In Branch County, 87% of Consumer’s customers were impacted while 81% of customers in St. Joseph County were affected. Wind estimates from the historic weather event top out at 90 mph.