State of Emergency: Shiawassee County seeks help with tornado response

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (3/15/2019) - Shiawassee County is declaring a local State of Emergency after a pair of tornadoes on Thursday damaged at least 70 structures and left thousands without power.

The separate tornadoes touched down around 6:45 p.m. in the Vernon and Durand areas, causing extensive damage as they spun off to the northeast.

The State of Emergency allows the county to seek help from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office with paying for repairs and obtaining state resources for cleaning up damage.

Shiawassee County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Trent Adkins said the emergency declaration could lead to financial assistance for businesses and homeowners dealing with storm damage.

"It's the start of a process," he said. "We'll hear more tomorrow or in a couple days."

For now, Adkins is encouraging anyone dealing with damage to contact their insurance provider and begin compiling a list of items damaged or lost to the storm.

"You should work closely with agent," Adkins said.

Emergency management officials say at least 70 structures in Shiawassee County sustained damage. Thirteen of them are unlivable and nine others will require significant repairs.

Nobody was killed or seriously injured from the storms, however.

Police, fire and EMS crews set up a command post in the Vernon Township Fire Department's station to coordinate their response. Authorities completed a grid search Thursday night and Friday assessing damage and looking for anyone injured.

Shiawassee County Central Dispatch asked people affected by the storm to call 989-743-2635 to report damage or downed power lines.

This home near the intersection of Bennington and Reid roads in Shiawassee County sustained heavy tornado damage.