5 local governments make emergency declarations

Emergencies have been declared by four Michigan counties and one township hard hit by a pre-Christmas ice storm that for a time left nearly 600,000 homes and businesses across the state without power.
AP Wire
Dec 28, 2013

Barry, Clinton, Eaton and Shiawassee counties, along with Delta Township in Eaton County, made the local emergency declarations, state officials said Friday.

By declaring local state of emergencies, communities can activate their own emergency operations plans and make themselves eligible for state aid and assistance "down the road," said Ron Leix, a spokesman for the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security division.

"The governor's office is ready to respond, if needed," said Dave Murray, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder. "Right now, the assistance has not been needed because of the good job being done by the locals and by the utilities meeting the deadlines they set forward, so far. We're willing to help, if need be."

Freezing rain began falling in Michigan last Saturday. It was part of a massive weather system that stretched from the Great Plains to Maine and into eastern Canada.

Power company crews have been working 16-hour shifts to restore electricity. By Friday afternoon, about 51,600 customers in Michigan still were without power.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy and the Lansing Board of Water & Light expected to have power fully restored by Saturday night, while Detroit-based DTE Energy was looking at full restoration by Friday night, state officials said.

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