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Shiawassee County Request for State Declaration of Emergency Denied

Governor Whitmer's Office Has Declined To Offer State Support to Shiawassee County After Devastating Tornadoes

Posted by Owosso Now at 12:03pm 4/1/19

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Del Chapman

Shiawassee County's request for a State Declaration of Emergency and disaster relief for the victims and responding agencies of the March 14, 2019 Tornadoes, that left 18 miles of damaged and destroyed homes and businesses, has been denied by Governor Whitmer. The two tornadoes impacted 136 structures including 94 homes, 4 businesses, 16 barns, and 22 RV's. The total cost of damage is estimated at nearly 10 million dollars to homes and businesses in Shiawassee County.

"We are obviously disappointed in the Governor's decision," stated Jeremy Root, County Board Chair. "She called me personally and said she would help and then we received the call last week denying our request, it’s just disappointing."

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Because Shiawassee County’s request for a State Declaration was denied, the request for Public Act 390, Section 19 funding, from the State’s Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund, that provides financial relief to county and local municipalities that participated in the disaster response and recovery operations was also denied by Governor Whitmer.

The assistance under this subsection provides grants, excluding reimbursement for capital outlay expenditures, in mitigation of the extraordinary burden of a county or municipality in relation to its available resources.

The cost to the response for many of the small part-time fire departments reached 10% or more of their annual operating budget. “Our fire department is always ready to respond and protect our community, but this disaster squeezed our department's budget,” stated Bert DeClerg, Vernon Township Supervisor. “We are very proud of our community, we came together in whole to support the recovery efforts,” stated DeClerg.
 
Hundreds of local community members volunteered in the recovery efforts. The efforts by outside volunteer agencies like Team Rubicon, whose volunteers came from as far away as New York, worked tirelessly for over a week on the local recovery.
 
“Even though we did not receive support from the Governor’s Office, our local efforts showed the resilience of our county,” stated Trent Atkins, Shiawassee County Director of Emergency Management. “Our local Fire and Law Enforcement Agencies, with our partners from the Michigan State Police, demonstrated the value of our efforts to prepare and plan for disasters.” 

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Shiawassee Radio Series
ShiaRobots Episode 2

Lead Mentor of Corunna Robotics "Team FridgeBot," Scott Stap, talks to Owosso Robotics Coach John Hankerd in a new Shiawassee Radio Series called "ShiaRobots." The series will follow Shiawassee County's robotics programs during the 2019 competitive season.
                     
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