Arenac County declares state of emergency

Whitmer expands state of emergency to include Arenac County

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ARENAC COUNTY— Arenac County Commissioners declared a state of emergency existed in the county after severe flooding that caused damage to local infrastructure and properties. 

Commissioners requested Governor Whitmer declare a state of emergency for the county to receive state assistance. 

In the request, Commissioner Chairman Harold Woolhiser asked that following state assistance to supplement local response and recovery efforts, there should be 24/7 law enforcement public safety evacuations, engineering to assess damaged roads, bridges, drains, public infrastructures and more. 

According to the request made, Arenac County has 50 bridges under repair assessments. Preliminary damage cost assessments could exceed $2,250,000.

On May 22, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order adding Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw Counties to the state of emergency declaration she issued earlier in the week for Midland County after widespread flooding and the breach of Edenville and Sanford dams.  

“Thousands of residents in these communities have been impacted by the widespread damage this flooding has caused,” said Whitmer in a press release. “I have declared an emergency to provide much needed assistance  and have added Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw counties to the  declaration to ensure access to critical resources. I want to thank emergency responders in the region for helping to evacuate residents. Let’s all stay safe, and take care of each other.” 

According to the press release from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor, officials have evacuated approximately 500 residents in Arenac County. This declaration of a state of emergency will ensure that resources such as law enforcement support, shelter support, road repair assistance, search and rescue support, and more are available to the impacted areas.  

Earlier in the week, District 97 representative Jason Wentworth, who represents Arenac County, stated his support for the order expanding to Arenac and Gladwin Counties, and submitted a letter to the Governor along with State Senator Jim Stamas urging her to expand the emergency order. 

“This news today is exactly what we needed,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jason Wentworth in a release. “I am thankful the Governor approved our request. There are still people in desperate need across Gladwin and Arenac counties, but this declaration will provide the much needed support and additional boots on the ground from the state.”

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