While everyone recovers from this week’s storms, those in Berrien County are trying to bounce back from some of the worst damage. There are trees so massive they take up the entire road and have been without power since Monday.
While the buzz of generators in most neighborhoods is audible, they’re drowned out by the buzz of chainsaws as they cut away fallen trees after, what residents say, the worst storm in recent memory.
“When it first started, it wasn’t so bad,” Ted Jensen Junior of Shoreham Village said. “Then my wife woke me up an hour later because she heard a big boom.”
That big boom was a significant part of a tree in his yard crashing down on his chain link fence and another branch destroying his gazebo. But he knows it could have been a lot worse.
“We just thank god it didn’t go right through the garage or through the den,” Jensen said. “That’s a lot of weight right there.”
Other residents in the area had a similar experience.
“I heard one crack and I shined my flashlight outside and saw this big root ball,” James Guthrie of Shoreham Village said. “Then I heard another crack and that’s when the second tree went down.”
The trees didn’t cause any damage to his home but are blocking the entire street, worrying Guthrie.
“If there’s an emergency we’re going to be in trouble,” Guthrie said. “No emergency vehicles can get through and our fire hydrant is not accessible. Hopefully they get to it before something bad happens.”
Even with all of the troubles, both residents are able to maintain a certain level of optimism.
“What can you do?” Guthrie said. “You have your life so that’s the most important thing. After that, everything else is easy. You buy water, sit by candlelight, in the evening and go to sleep.”
“We’re camping out,” Jensen said. “Camping out at our house. It’s about all we can do. We have to pick it up and go from here.”
Residents weren’t the only ones struggling. The Berrien County Health Department has been operating in a limited capacity thanks in large part to a generator…until today.
“Early this morning our generator failed,” Grants and Communications Specialist, Gillian Conrad said. “We were without power, phones or internet for a couple hours this morning but our county IT and maintenance departments did a wonderful job getting us a backup generator very quickly.”
Conrad suggests going to the Berrien County Health Department’s Facebook page for updated information. They can be found at www.facebook.com/BCHDMI.