Governor Whitmer Declares State of Emergency for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties Due to Impacts of High Winds

Governor Whitmer Declares State of Emergency for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties Due to Impacts of High Winds

August 24, 2021 | Lansing, MI | AMN – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today declared a state of emergency for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties to address the impacts of severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds on August 11 and 12.

“Thank you to the first responders and line-workers who have worked diligently to keep our residents safe and restore power to our communities,” said Governor Whitmer. “We will continue to work closely with Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties and provide needed resources to support recovery efforts.” 

By declaring a state of emergency, Governor Whitmer has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already been doing in conjunction with local agencies. 

On August 13, Branch County declared a local state of emergency due to a severe thunderstorm that caused widespread or severe damage. On August 14, St. Joseph County declared a local state of emergency following severe storms that resulted in power outages and hazardous debris impacting emergency response and restoration efforts. On August 16, Hillsdale County declared a local state of emergency due to damage as a result of severe thunderstorms. All three counties requested a governor’s declaration.  

The declaration of a local state of emergency activates local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor’s declaration, the county has determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect the health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.