State Help Arrives To Assist Calhoun County Cleanup Effort

HealthVehiclesDisasters and AccidentsAmerican Red CrossSafety of CitizensMike McKenzie

Heavy equipment arrived in Battle Creek from the state Thursday: front-end loaders, dump trucks, even workers.  But you can tell. there's still a lot of work to do.

As long as there's sunlight, crews are hard at work.   Tarps still cover many roofs in Battle Creek neighborhoods.   Some homeowners still don't know if their homes can be repaired.  'We`re still waiting for an insurance adjuster to come and tell us how to proceed from this point on,” Patricia Acton  told FOX 17 News, sitting outside her badly-damaged home.   

The Actons went into the basement of their home Sunday night and braced for the worst.   “We heard a lot of thumping and  bouncing kind of sounds ,” Patricia said.  “Then, we heard glass breaking, so we knew there was some damage from the outside.”

Crews from across Michigan - even from other states - are working hard to get things back to normal around Calhoun County.   “We want to make sure public safety is first,” Mike McKenzie, the director of Emergency Services in Battle Creek said.   “Public safety, as far as moving those trees and debris so emergency services: police, fire, medical vehicles, can get through.  That`s our first objective.”

Thousands of downed trees are being moved to open lots for storage.   Governor Snyder`s Declaration of a State of Emergency has brought additional, badly needed help.  “They did deliver vehicles and equipment loaders from MDOT,” McKenzie said.  “I know the DNR has also dispatched teams, even the Department of Corrections  gave us 28 personnel to help assist.”

The crews aren't the only ones helping out:  the Actons say they`ve been amazed by the generosity of friends and neighbors.  “So many people have called us and stopped by at the house and offered their assistance, and `Let us know if you need us to help you with anything!`' Patricia said.State crews will focus on damage in Emmett Township Friday morning.  The American Red Cross has set up a Service Center.  It's open at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Battle Creek from 9 to 6 Friday. Residents can get a variety of services - referrals, health screenings, and mental health assistance.  Clean-up items such as gloves, tarps, shovels and garbage bags are available there as well.  Red Cross has also been travelling through neighborhoods giving residents water and hot meals, and providing overnight shelter to anyone who needs it as a result of the storm.

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