Governor Declares State of Disaster for Kalamazoo County; Severe Storms of October 24 Cause Major Damage in County

Contact: Susan Shafer (517) 335-6397

October 27, 2001

Governor John Engler has declared a state of disaster for Kalamazoo County due to the severe damage the windstorms of this past week caused in the county. Based on reports from the county and a recommendation from the Michigan State Police a state declaration was signed by the Governor late Friday night in Lansing.

"I have determined that a state disaster declaration for Kalamazoo County is justified due to the large amount of debris that has caused many roads to be closed," said Governor Engler. "I have been advised that as of late Friday, the county still had numerous roads closed and the roads that have been able to open, many have less than one full lane open to traffic, making them impassable to emergency vehicles."

The Governor has asked the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management Division to coordinate with the Michigan Department of Transportation to provide assistance to the county.

County damage assessments completed on Friday, show that 18 homes were destroyed, 150 homes suffered major damage, seven businesses were destroyed and eight businesses sustained major damage. A large number of other homes and businesses suffered minor damage. Public damage is also significant, mostly with respect to debris clearance.





WHEREAS, on Wednesday, October 24, 2001, sustained high winds struck the County of Kalamazoo, resulting in widespread and severe damage; and

WHEREAS, numerous injuries resulted from the severe winds; and

WHEREAS, the severe winds caused damage to many homes, businesses, public facilities, and caused extensive debris removal problems, blocking public roadways to emergency vehicles and placing many citizens in danger; and

WHEREAS, the conditions causing the disaster resulted from a natural cause; and

WHEREAS, the County of Kalamazoo has declared a local state of emergency and activated the disaster response and recovery aspects of their emergency operations plan to cope with the situation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN ENGLER, Governor of the State of Michigan, pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Michigan and provisions of Act No. 390 of the Public Acts of 1976, as amended by Public Act No. 50 of 1990, do hereby proclaim a state of disaster exists in the aforementioned local political subdivision; and

FURTHER, the Emergency Management Division of the Department of State Police shall coordinate and maximize all state efforts which may be activated to state service to assist the local political subdivision and may call upon all state departments to utilize resources at their avail to assist in the disaster area pursuant to the Michigan Emergency Management Plan; and

FURTHER, termination of this disaster will occur at such time as emergency conditions no longer exist and appropriate programs have been implemented to recover from the effects of this disaster, but in no case longer than November 8, 2001, unless extended as provided by Act No. 390.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this twenty-sixth day of October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand One.