Thursday, August 31, 2023

State of emergency declared in Canton Township

Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie
Graham-Hudak, below  at podium, declared
a state of emergency last week in response
to the severe weather damage following a
confirmed tornado in the community. During a
press conference the next day, Wayne County
Executive Warren Evans, at podium above,
said he planned to declare all of
Wayne County as a disaster area.
The severe weather last week collapsed three park pavilions, felled nearly 50 trees and damaged the recently reopened splash pad at Heritage Park in Canton Township. In response to the emergency conditions, Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak declared a state of emergency on Thursday, Aug. 24. Graham-Hudak also called on the governor to declare an emergency situation and petition federal authorities for assistance, so that state and federal resources might be made available to the Canton community.

The tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service to have touched down at just after 10 p.m. last week northwest of Pheasant Run Golf course. The twister traveled across Summit Parkway and Canton Center Road, dropping a tree onto a house near Sheldon Road. The tornado winds in Canton were estimated at 80 mph. At 10:23, another tornado struck Belleville, uprooting trees and damaging Mobile Manor Trail Park. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued the emergency disaster declaration for both Wayne and Monroe counties on Saturday. 

“Unprecedented rains have caused significant flooding and extensive damage throughout large sections of the Canton community,” Graham-Hudak said during a press conference last week. “With so much storm damage, the township is looking to this state of emergency designation to help us supplement our local response and recovery efforts.” 

Canton Township Emergency Manager William Hayes was designated to coordinate with state and federal authorities for assistance related to the emergency. 

Wayne County Executive Officer Warren C. Evans announced his plan to declare a state of emergency during a press conference Aug. 25 at the Canton administration building. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Graham-Hudak attended Evans' meeting and addressed the impact of the severe rain, flooding, and excessive wind damage reported. The City of Inkster and the Northville and Plymouth communities also reported damage from the storm and the storm conditions closed Metro Airport in Romulus where roads and interstates were under water.

Under the state of emergency, Wayne County hopes to expedite additional resources to provide aid for residents in the hardest-hit communities.

Members of the Canton Township Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and township staff members began a door-to-door damage assessment of residential structures in that community on Saturday. The information collected will be provided to the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police, officials said.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell attended the Aug. 25 press conference to
address the state of emergency declaration for Wayne County and Canton Township. 
These assessments are a necessary step in evaluating the impact of the recent storm damage and tornadic activity that has affected several areas in the Canton community, they added.

“The purpose of these visits is to solely conduct damage assessments on behalf of Canton Township to assist with providing the total damage assessment numbers to the State of Michigan,” Hayes said. “All of this information will help recovery efforts as we continue to concentrate on clean-up measures that resulted from a barrage of recent storm fronts that brought heavy rain and high winds through the Canton community.”

Members of the Canton CERT volunteer program and township staff will have proper identification, including badges and uniform vests. Credentials will be available upon request. officials said.  Canton residents are being asked to answer the damage assessment questions as accurately as possible and to provide any necessary information to help evaluate the extent of the damage in neighborhoods.

Should questions arise during or after these visits, residents are asked to call the non-emergency dispatch at (734) 394-5400 for additional information.

“All gathered data will go a long way in helping to expedite the necessary aid we need in the Canton community to assist with our recovery process,” said Graham-Hudak. 

“By working together we'll be able to obtain the necessary resources that are currently in high demand in our community.”

Canton residents affected by heavy rains are also encouraged to submit a self-reporting survey to help assess the damage throughout the township at: 

For additional information, visit