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Gov. Whitmer holds cabinet meeting to inform public of actions the state took to protect its citizens

Posted: 6:11 PM, Feb 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-01 18:11:36-05

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer hosted a press event on Thursday with members of her cabinet.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss the actions that the State of Michigan took to address threats to public health and safety related to record-low temperatures and wind chills.

The governor invited her directors to each speak on their department's involvement during these frigid temps.

Jim Masco, from the National Weather Service started the round table conversation talking about the conditions. He mentioned ice and rain possible next week and localized flooding that they are preparing for.

Captain Emmitt McGowan of the Michigan State Police said that they have been employing additional troopers and sending out messages about being prepared drivers. He suggested drivers have a spare tire with extra air in their cars, also a flashlight and extra batteries.

MSP Deputy Director Chris Kelenske said that they have fire investigators working on the cause of the Consumers Energy plant fire.

He said that they also have more patrols out looking for stranded cars.

Kelenske complimented Whitmer's response of calling a state of emergency by saying, "Because we got ahead of it, less people were on the road."

Paul Ajegba, MODT director added that they have had 1200 trucks out salting and using sand as well on the roads.

The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Robert Gordon, said they have received 53 no heat referrals. They have gone out on propane refills and helped with furnace repairs. He said they have been bringing people without heat to a hotel or other warm places.

Tricia Foster said that this has been an unprecedented situation.
She added that building temperatures in all of the state buildings were reduced to 63 degrees.

Attorney General Dana Nessel was on the phone for the meeting.

She warned everyone of consumer scams that they are watching for that aim to take advantage of the vulnerable.

She said to be wary of anyone calling offering propane or gas at a higher than usual cost, utility scams where they ask you to pay up or be cut off on the phone, insurance scams and anyone offering unnecessary services.

Governor Whitmer said that we are expecting another 24 hours of dangerous weather. She asked that we all keep our temperatures down until noon on Friday.