City of Sturgis Declares Local State of Emergency for Severe Storm Damage
Some customers will have to wait a week to have power restored as city leaders declared a Local State of Emergency.
The City of Sturgis has declared a Local State of Emergency related to widespread and severe damage caused by powerful storms that moved through the state Wednesday and Thursday, August 11th and 12th. The storms resulted in substantial damage to the City’s power lines from downed trees and limbs as well as damaged power poles. The damage is unprecedented for the City’s Electric Department.
How bad is it?
The video below posted to the City of Sturgis YouTube account shows the devastation of one single road. Residents in the city have said there are many roads and neighborhoods with just as significant damage.
The city says its electric crews have been working to restore service to Sturgis customers since the first round of storms. On Thursday, the City enlisted the assistance of additional line crews to help restore power. The City estimates that initially, around 2,900 customers were without power, and currently around 700 customers still remain without service. The latest updates from the City’s Electric Department estimate that service to the majority of customers inside the Sturgis City limits should be restored by the end of the weekend.
Restoration crews estimate that somewhere around 15 miles of power lines outside of the city have been impacted by the storms, including over 40 downed power poles. Much of the damage related to ongoing outages are concentrated on or connected to the City’s service line running to the hydro-electric dam near Centreville, Michigan. This line runs through mainly rural areas, including heavily wooded and difficult terrain, slowing the ability of crews to make necessary repairs.
A large portion of the significant damage appears to be in the areas between Schrader Road to the south and Banker Road to the north, between N. Centerville Road to the east, and Shimmel Road to the west. Though residents from Mintdale, Balk, Shimmel, and Hydro substations could be waiting up to a week to have their electrical service restored. The City estimates that this area may currently include 400 to 450 customers. Crews will be restoring power to these customers working from south to north.
The City of Sturgis is located in St. Joseph County. The county was one of the hardest-hit areas for this week's storms. Below are just a few photos taken by residents of St. Joseph County documenting the damage.