Snyder declares downstate county a state of disaster

Snyder declares downstate county a state of disaster

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a state of disaster for Ionia County after an EF1 tornado caused significant damage to the city of Portland and Orange and Portland townships on June 22, making state resources available for recovery efforts.

“Portland area residents and businesses came together after the tornado, showing the great sense of community that exists across our state,” Snyder said. “Neighbors helped neighbors, businesses helped volunteers, and everyone worked as a team to clean up the damage.”

By declaring a state of disaster, Snyder has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state efforts.

In addition, Snyder has opened up the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to affected local governments within Ionia County. Communities can apply for grants to cover eligible response costs of up to $100,000.

The city of Portland and nearby areas have been severely affected by the tornado, causing widespread and severe damage to homes, businesses, churches and public buildings and infrastructure. Efforts have been underway by the community to stabilize structures and remove debris within the affected areas to ensure public health and safety.

“We have been actively working with our local emergency management partners in Ionia County since the tornado struck,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “I have directed my staff to work closely with the affected communities so they can receive disaster relief.”

Since June 22, Ionia County has been under a local state of emergency, which 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 public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.