Local State of Emergency declared in Berrien County

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

The following information was released from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department regarding the flooding situation:

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has declared a Local State of Emergency due to the recent flooding issues in numerous communities in the County of Berrien.

This Declaration of a Local State of Emergency is a formality that allows the local municipalizes to utilize County of Berrien resources in their recovery and damage assessments as a result of the natural disaster.

The Local State of Emergency will be forwarded to the State of Michigan in an attempt to make State Resources available to the County of Berrien and the local communities that are being affected by the flooding and the damage caused by this natural disaster.

As the recovery efforts and assessments of the damage caused by this natural disaster continue, the strain on the resources and manpower of the County of Berrien and the local communities are being exhausted and the support of the State of Michigan resources will be a welcome relief for all municipalities.

The County of Berrien is extremely proud of the efforts being put forth by all the local municipalities, their employees, and the various civic organizations over the past couple of days

The County of Berrien also reports that the record setting levels of the Saint Joseph River have crested and are now stable.

The County of Berrien is actively monitoring the river levels, the water levels over various stretches of roadways, and the infrastructures in the County of Berrien and local communities.

At this time, no infrastructures or residents appear to be in immediate danger.

The local State of Emergency is used to let state officials know that the county is undergoing an incident “that is taxing the county’s resources”

This declaration is the first step in tracking activities and damage in case the need would arise to ask for state or federal assistance.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens of the following during the current Local State of Emergency.

ANIMALS: For the individuals that had their pets rescued or housed by the Berrien County Animal Control Office within the past few days, due to the floods and heavy precipitation, when you are ready and able to pick up your pets, please call the Berrien County Animal Control Office during normal business hours at (269) 927-5648 to schedule an appointment.

During after-hours, please contact the Berrien County 911 Dispatch Center Office at the non-emergency number of (269) 983-7141 to schedule an appointment. The Berrien County 911 Dispatch Center will than obtain your information and forward it to an Animal Control Officer to contact you to schedule an appointment.

ROAD CLOSURES: If any roads have been barricaded or closed during this natural disaster, and the barricades remain on scene (either across the roadway or on the side of the roadway), please do not drive on the roadways even if no standing water is across the road. The roads still need to be inspected by the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Berrien County Road Department, or local Public Work Departments to ensure the roads are structurally sound. The roads may visually appear to be in good condition, however the integrity of the roads may have been weaken or damaged.

For the most up to date flood resources, residents can call 2-1-1. Residents with questions in regards to information on mold, flood cleanup, hazards, etc. can visit this web link: http://bchdmi.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=469

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