Governor declares state of disaster for U.P. county

LANSING — Governor Rick Snyder today declared a state of disaster for Marquette County after severe weather struck the area from October 16th to October 18th, bringing intense rain and flooding that has caused significant destruction to roadways in areas of Chocolay, Skandia and West Branch townships.

“Thanks to our emergency responders immediately addressing life and safety concerns, there were no injuries or deaths, which is the most important thing,” Snyder said. “The state will now use its resources to ensure communities recover and residents can return to a sense of normalcy.”

By declaring a state of disaster, Snyder has made available all state resources in cooperation with local recovery efforts in the disaster area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts. The declaration also allows the state to request emergency federal highway funding to repair road damages sustained by the flooding and washouts.

Marquette County has been severely impacted by the heavy rains and flooding, causing widespread and severe damage to roads, bridges, culverts and infrastructure. Efforts have been underway by the community to remove debris and regain access to vital community services within the affected areas to ensure public health and safety.

“Staff from the MSP/EMHSD has been actively working with our emergency management partners in Marquette County since this incident began,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP and state director of emergency management and homeland security. “Along with our state agency partners, we’ll continue to assist the affected communities in order to obtain the disaster relief necessary.”

Personnel in the State Emergency Operations Center are closely monitoring the situation and receiving updates from local officials as additional assessments are conducted.

Marquette County today declared 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.

[Information courtesy the Office of Governor Rick Snyder]