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As a result of the high-wind weather event yesterday, numerous county residents remain without power as of this afternoon, and both DTE and Consumer's Energy report power will not be fully restored for all customers until well into or beyond the weekend.
In response, the Washtenaw County Emergency Operations Command - EOC - (led by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's office) has met to determine community emergency needs, with the Office of Community & Economic Development leading the coordination among human services providers.
At this time, we are primarily concerned about the impending temperature drop, with overnight lows on Friday night expected to reach into the low teens. Given this, the Red Cross is expected to open 1 to 2 warming centers in the Ypsilanti area on Friday for residents in need. While human services agencies in other areas of the county are reporting some impacts to vulnerable residents, the largest concentration of needs are in the eastern part of the county.
Additionally, we have reports that the Manchester area is also without power to large numbers of residents, so we will be monitoring the needs tomorrow to determine if a warming center in that area is warranted as well.
Large service providers like Community Mental Health, who service well over 1,000 people in the area, are working with the EOC and OCED to assess who can stay in place with emergency supplies (food, blankets, etc.) to minimize disruption to their lives. If a warming center for any special populations is required, we will coordinate with the appropriate partners to implement as needed.
For individuals with a need to temporarily escape the cold, local libraries and certain human services agencies will be available during their business hours tomorrow for temporary relief. For a listing of those organizations that can provide short-term temporary relief from cold temperatures, please see our temporary weather haven list here: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/community-and-economic-development/human-services/sfsp.
Additionally, for homeless individuals, the daytime and overnight warming center information is located here: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/community-and-economic-development/human-services/sfsp/resources/2016-2017-winter-warming-centers
Finally, if you have any reports of residents in need of support or resources related to the weather or power outages, we recommend referring them to the United Way 2-1-1 hotline.
As always, OCED staff are available to help trouble shoot - please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Of note: OCED has been without power for the past day and half as well, so if there is an emergent situation please use e-mail or call my cell phone below.