City opens Emergency Operations Center to manage storm response

Published on February 07, 2019

Image of the EOC Storm Operation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids has opened its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to manage its response to the recent ice storm. The storm has  left more than 42,000 residents without power and has knocked down more than a hundred trees across the city.

The EOC has been open since 11 a.m. today and is scheduled to stay open 24 hours a day at least through Sunday. The EOC is a centralized place where the City’s emergency response staff can coordinate efforts among City departments and with regional partners, including Kent County, Consumers Energy and American Red Cross, and monitor information in real-time.

City Manager Mark Washington is joined in the EOC by Fire Chief John Lehman, Police Chief David Kiddle and other members of the police and fire command staffs as well as City staff from various departments, including 311 Customer Service, Communications, Community Development, Environmental Services, Mobile GR-Parking Services, Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Water.

“This storm has created a public safety issue for our residents,” Washington said. “It’s critically important that we respond in a coordinated and effective way. Our Emergency Operations Center helps us prioritize issues and maximize our resources.”

In addition to power outages and downed trees, the City’s 311 Customer Service and 911 Dispatch have received more than 300 calls about downed wires and more than 150 about branches blocking streets or sidewalks since Wednesday morning.

The City’s fire crews have worked around the clock since Wednesday morning to respond to downed wires. Forestry crews have been in neighborhoods and other areas of the city removing trees and branches blocking streets and sidewalks.

As trees and branches continue to fall across the city, residents are encouraged to avoid being outside as much as they can. To report a fallen tree or branch blocking a street or sidewalk, call 311 Customer Service at 616.456.3000.

If you see a downed power line:

  • Stay at least 25 feet away
  • Don’t touch anything it’s in contact with
  • Always presume power lines on the ground or overhead are energized and dangerous
  • Call 911, Consumers Energy at 800.477.5050 or 311 Customer Service at 616.456.3000