Whitmer declares emergency in southern Michigan counties after storms

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Tuesday in Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties after severe storms hit the area earlier this month.

The declaration makes additional state resources available in cooperation with local response efforts, according to a statement from Whitmer's office.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks about storm damage in the state during an event in Meridian Township on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.

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

A wave of severe weather, including powerful winds, rolled through Michigan on the evening of Aug. 11 and the morning of Aug. 12. The storms knocked out power for more than 700,000 residents.

During an event with Whitmer in Meridian Township on Aug. 12, Consumers Energy's president and CEO, Garrick Rochow, said while much of Michigan had been affected by the storms, the hardest-hit areas were south of Interstate 94.

High winds hit such places as Coldwater in Branch County and Hillsdale in Hillsdale County, he said.