|Photo Credit – The Freep|
“As families in Michigan continue to suffer impact from December 23 ice storm with up to six days and counting without power, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) response to the storms impact contrasted Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) stance on when to States of Emergency response to weather or natural related events.”
Update-1/3/2014 at 3:23 pm ET:
Governor Rick Snyder’s office responded with additional information included below in the article. David Murray initially reported in the original article as a MLive Staff member, is the State of Michigan Office of Governor Deputy Press Secretary. Murray previously worked for MLive.com.
Residents in Jackson, Lansing, Genesee, Delta, Clinton, Eaton and Shiwassee Counties lost power following ice storm affecting areas stretching from Michigan to Maine and parts of southern Ontario, Canada. According to estimates by DTE Energy and Lansing City Board of Light and Water at 4:20 pm Eastern Standard Time December 29, up to 3600 residents are still without power.
|Photo Credit – Michigan.gov
Michigan State Police Capt. Chris Kelenske,
deputy state director of emergency management
and homeland security
On December 27, Michigan State Police Capt. Chris Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security informed Press Secretary for the Governor’s office Dave Murray in MLive.com natural disasters such as being without power in extended areas for multiple days are “local events“.
“Disasters are first and foremost local events,” Kelenske told MLive. “Most disasters are handled by local government with minimal or no state assistance.”
On the county level, governmental officials in Delta, Clinton, Eaton and Shiwassee declared individual states’ of emergency within hours after assessing the ice storm extended impact.
MDP Spokesperson Kelenske reiterated while interviewing with Murray, Governor Snyder’s administration goals when declaring states’ of emergency is to make “communities and not individuals, businesses or governmental entities whole.”
“It is important to remember the goal of disaster assistance is not to make individuals, businesses or government entities whole again, but to restore community to a level that meets expected health and safety considerations,” Kelenske said. “We’re not surprised to see the local state of emergencies that have been put in place.”
The Governor’s Office issued a statement, December 26 detailing how state resources were
|Photo Credit – The Detroit Free Press
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R)
deployed during the storm.
“Michiganders in several counties and communities continue to suffer the effects of this past weekend’s winter storm. Thousands of residents remain affected as the holiday week commences.
Utility crews have been brought in from several states to assist in repairing critical electrical lines.
Unfortunately, given the severity of the storm, recovery efforts will continue to take time, but I have been assured that crews are working around the clock to restore power.
Michigan State Police began working with local emergency management partners before the storm to help ensure adequate preparation and response efforts. To date, local governments have not requested additional assistance from the state.”
Governor Snyder office stance when to declare localized State of Emergencies contrasted predecessor Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm, in cases of mass community impact or other weather related disasters.
Following the Northeastern region power Blackout in 2003 reaching certain areas from Michigan to Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, New York and New Jersey, former Gov. Granholm quickly declared a State of Emergency in counties impacted by the event.
“Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared today (August 23, 2003) a state of emergency in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, her spokeswoman said.
Granholm has urged Michigan residents to stay calm and take precautions during a blackout that affected cities from the southeast part of the state to the state Capitol.
“This is truly one of the instances where we’re all in this together,” Granholm expressed during a statewide, televised address August 22, 2003. “So be calm, be supportive of your neighbor.”
Granholm also declared localized states’ of emergency in 2007, 2008 and as recently as 2010, when residents of Calhoun County where impacted by a Enbridge environmental oil spill impacting areas located along the Kalamazoo River downstream of Talamadge Creek.
“Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today (July 27, 2010) declared a state of disaster in Calhoun County and potentially affected areas along the Kalamazoo River downstream of Talmadge Creek in response to Monday’s oil spill from a pipeline near Marshall, Michigan.
“This disaster declaration reinforces our efforts to ensure the safety of Michigan citizens and the environment by making any needed state resources readily available,” said Granholm.
Governor Granholm’s disaster declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate all state efforts in preserving and acquiring state resources to assist with immediate threats to public health, safety and the environment related to the July 26 Calhoun County oil spill.
Executive Order No. 2010-7 will allow resources from all state departments to be deployed in local response efforts.”
Murray speaking with MSP Homeland Security Spokesperson Capt. Kelenske on December 27, stated declaration of states’ of emergency or disaster, including deploying State National Guard troops to disperse generators, add to a perception situations will be fixed.
“I do think there’s a perception out there that that automatically fixes things, and it doesn’t,” Kelenske said to MLive. “If there were hospitals and nursing facilities and all these places that needed generators, and the locals could not provide generators, they would come to us and ask for that,” he said.
Kelenske concluded his interview with Murray by stating if the Governor Snyder’s office is ready to respond if needed, as at least 3600 Michigan residents wait for power to be restored six days and counting after December 23 ice storm
“MSP’s Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division continues to monitor the situation closely to ensure the public health and safety of Michigan citizens,” Governor Snyder’s office noted December 26. “The State of Michigan stands ready to offer assistance to local governments if and as requested.”
Update 12/29 @ 8:13 pm ET:
Governor Rick Snyder on December 22, one day before the ice storm impacting thousands of Michigan residents, did send out a holiday message with the States’ First Lady, via YouTube.
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