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Kent County Cleans Up After Severe Thunderstorms, High Winds

Kent County seal
Kent County

Crews in West Michigan worked today to remove downed trees and power lines that were blocking some roadways following severe thunderstorms.   Kent County Emergency Management says thousands of homes and businesses lost power in the county following the storms.  All told, over 100-thousand are without power in West Michigan. It could be Sunday before all power is restored.  Winds were reported to be at least 60 miles per hour in Kent County. 

“The wind was fierce, definitely.  We’ve seen worse storms, but this one was a pretty bad one and when it happens in the middle of the night like that, and people are sleeping, and they wake up to it and it kind of catches us all off guard.”

That’s Lisa LaPlante, Kent County’s Public Information Officer.  She says responders were quickly dispatched to assess the damage and spent the early part of the day clearing roadways.

“Actually had to call in additional crews at central dispatch, our road crews have called in additional crews to get the downed trees and make sure that roads are passable.”

La Plante says the good news is that so far, they have not received word of injuries in Kent County, but there is a lot of clean up at hand.

“A lot of the damage we’re seeing is big trees that have come down, some on garages, some on public roads, so a lot of response to that.”

La Plante says with the high winds and downed trees, power lines are down as well.  The County is advising residents to keep their distance.

“And those power lines can jump, 10-20 feet sometimes, so whatever you do, if you see a downed powerline, do not approach it, immediately call 9-1-1 and report it to 9-1-1.”

LaPlante and county officials also advise creating a storm related plan for your family, including having emergency supplies on hand, like a week’s worth of water, non-perishable food items and flashlights and batteries.  They also advise getting a weather warning app on your smartphone.