LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared today a
state of emergency in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne
counties, her spokeswoman said.
Oakland, Macomb and
Wayne counties already had declared local states of emergencies.
The counties named by Granholm are all in the southeast corner of
the state, where blackouts continued to leave many residents
without power or air conditioning.
She also signed an
executive order that would allow gas from western Michigan to be
shipped to the Detroit area.
The National Guard is
distributing 27 large tanks of water, using “water buffalo” tanker
trucks, to hospitals and airports.
Granholm said 76,000
bottles of water have been donated by Meijer to the state’s
emergency opeattions center.
Granholm has urged
Michigan residents to stay calm and take precautions during a
blackout that affected cities from the southeast part of the state
to the state Capitol.
“This is truly one of
the instances where we’re all in this together,” Granholm said
during a statewide, televised address last night. “So be calm, be
supportive of your neighbor.”
Granholm was scheduled
to speak this morning about the electrical outage and the effect it
has had on Michigan on two morning news shows, “Good Morning
America” and the “Today” show, as well as with CNN and MSNBC.
difficulties kept the Lansing stations she was at from connecting
with the national shows, Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said this
morning. The governor considered heading for the public television
station where she did her televised address last night, but that
station couldn’t do it either, Boyd said.
This morning the
governor canceled her inspection of the Michigan National Guard
troops at Camp Grayling to deal with the power outage.
The governor said
she expected state offices in Lansing to be open for business
today. Communications director Genna Gent said employees who work
in state offices in Detroit will be allowed to stay home, but state
workers elsewhere in the state will be expected to work if their
offices have electricity.
She added that the
71 hospitals in the affected region all had sufficient generating
capacity to deal with patients until power was restored.
The governor began
her address yesterday by reiterating President Bush’s comments that
the power outages weren’t the result of a terrorist attack. She
told reporters afterward, however, that changes made after the
Sept. 11 attack two years ago made it easier to respond to the
made us very prepared and ready to hit the ground running,” she
Granholm said she
worried when the power outage hit that it could be related to
“I think it was
the first thing on everybody’s mind … that there was a problem
much deeper than just the lights going out,” she said. Within an
hour, however, assurances came that the outage was not an act of
The governor spoke
with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge last night and said the
state’s emergency operations center was in touch with others in
states affected by the blackout. The state has its center, which
allows the state to have an open line of communication to local and
federal officials, running at what the governor called “full tilt”
by 8:30 p.m.
some tips for people to cope with the blackouts, including
conserving water and staying off the roads. She also said that
residents, particularly in Detroit, should boil their water before
drinking it or stick to bottled water.
The outages, which
hit Michigan about 4 p.m. last night, caused gridlock on major
roads, affected air travel, trapped people in elevators and
prompted officials to call for residents to remain calm. Officials
also evacuated the state Capitol.