Genesee County leaders keep close eye on weather, roads - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County leaders keep close eye on weather, roads

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -

(01/06/14) - Flint and Genesee County leaders say they're keeping a close eye on the elements.

For now, neither has declared a local state of emergency. A number of viewers contacted us asking why, given how bad it is outside.

Jamie Curtis, the county's chairman for the Board of Commissioners, says the declaration does not do what most people expect it would.

He says he can't order people off the roads and stressed no employees were forced in to work, Monday.

Curtis says he's leaving a state of emergency declaration up to Gov. Rick Snyder, and leaving the decision on whether to come into work up to county employees - with no disciplinary action taken.

But Snyder, during a conference call with the media, says the state looks to local governments to make the first call.

"Largely, we rely on our local partners to bring up the issues first because, in main respects, they're closer to their own situation," Snyder said.

Snyder says only two counties have declared a state of emergency, urging residents to stay indoors, though a number have declared snow emergencies restricting parking on streets so plows can make passes.

"In terms of requests for local assistance, it's been fairly limited. There's been very few coming in," Snyder said.

"We'll continue to monitor the situation and make decisions as warranted," said Jason Lorenz, public information officer for the City of Flint.

The City of Flint closed city hall to the public late Monday morning.

City crews, just like those in the county, have been clearing like crazy. Flint expects to start on residential roads Monday night.

"Once we start on the residential area, we ask people to be patient because we anticipate it will take at least 48 hours," Lorenz said.

The city announced city hall will be closed to the public again Tuesday because of the weather.

As it pertains to plowing, the city of Flint asks that you call 810-766-7343 if you have a medical urgency like a dialysis appointment or surgery planned. Crews will then try to get to your area first.

Curtis says a local doctor called something similar in and sheriff's department employees were picking them up and bringing them in.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell says Sunday night, a paramedic couldn't get his vehicle to his call - someone was having trouble breathing - so he packed up his gear and walked about 1/4 mile in, made the call and then walked back out.

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