Clean up in SW Michigan could take days

Benton Harbor, Mich. Berrien County didn’t escape the mess made by Sunday’s storm and the city of Benton Harbor took one of the hardest hits.

It could take three or four days to clean up the fallen trees and restore power to the city’s thousands of residents said Darwin Watson, Benton Harbor Public Works Director.

“The majority of what we dealt with were more down trees, power lines, wind damage and things blowing in the street,” Watson said. “So we’re cleaning up today -- mostly tree damage and cutting up trees and getting them out .”

Watson said one of the wildest casualties of the storm was the street sign at the intersection of Pearl and Catalpa.

“It ended up two miles away in Benton Township on Empire,” he said. “Don't ask me how it did it but it ended up down there.”

St. Joseph representative Derek Perry said his city fared much better than expected.

“We don’t have any major damage,” Perry said. “Several dead trees fell at Riverview and a few large limbs came down in town… but that’s really it.”

Officials are warning residents that they should be weary of fallen power lines – they can still be live hours or even days after the storm.

“If you see wires down, assume that they're power wires,” Watson said. “Call the electric company, don't try to take on the challenge of trying to clear a tree if you see those lines. If there is a down line that we haven't gotten to, call us at city

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