By Scott Sullivan
Last week’s ice storm created skaters’ waltz conditions for homes, schools and offices, causing multi-day closures, power outages, trees down and roadway slide-offs.
From 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. late Wednesday through Thursday morning, Feb. 22-23, the Saugatuck Township Fire District answered nine service calls, reported IT Director Erik Kirchert.
No. 1 came at 10:24 p.m. for a wire down with blown-up transformer at the corner of Campbell Road and Ferry Street in Douglas. STFD crew did not find a line down, said Kirchert, but cut up a tree down across the road and cleared the scene for its next call.
A 10:31 p.m., a Saugatuck Township call for a wire down led crews to a low-hanging wire not touching the ground. Consumers Energy was notified and the scene cordoned off with warning tape.
An 11:26 p.m. call from a Douglas neighbor who’d heard a tree fall on the house next door led Douglas Police and firefighters to the scene shown on Page A2 of a 14- to 16-inch diameter tree that had broken through a roof with severe attic damage.
“Luckily,” said Kirchert, “no utilities were severed and STFD crew could leave part of the electricity on to prevent frost damage.” The home’s residents relocated to a family member’s house.
“While operating the scene another tree came down,” Kirchert said. “Again luckily, no one was hurt. A close call!”
At 1 a.m. Thursday, Douglas Police asked for help at the corner of Wiley Road and Lakeshore Drive where a 4-inch diameter tree branch was blocking the eastbound lane. Out came the STFD chainsaw and crews to help clear the road.
At 1:21 a.m the STFD and Graafschap Fire peers were called to help Allegan County Sheriff’s deputies deal with a jackknifed semi off the road having leaked 70 gallons of fuel on and near northbound I-196.
They helped close northbound lanes while a heavy-duty wrecker was dispatched. All lanes were reopened at 4 a.m.
A 3:02 a.m. township medical call was dealt with. Next came reports of a wire down at the 136th Avenue/64th Street corner. “It turned out to be a communication wire,” said Kirchert. The crew coiled up the wire and cleared this scene.
At 7:07 a.m. the STFD again helped police close part of I-196 while a wrecker removed a vehicle from the shoulder.
Wrapping up the 12-hour span were 10:44 and 10:52 calls for wires down in the township. Crews found a branch leaning on a line in the first case and secured the surrounding area. The second involved a communication wire crews removed from the road.
By Scott Sullivan