2017-07-13 / Front Page

Headstones among victims in Thursday thunderstorm


UPROOTED An uprooted tree in the Roscommon Village Cemetery caused damage to cement grave plot boundaries and moved a couple monuments from their places as a result of the storm that hit the area the evening of July 6. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) UPROOTED An uprooted tree in the Roscommon Village Cemetery caused damage to cement grave plot boundaries and moved a couple monuments from their places as a result of the storm that hit the area the evening of July 6. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) The thunderstorm that rolled through Roscommon County the evening of July 6 left thousands of residents in Roscommon County without power – and caused damage throughout the area.

According to Consumers Energy spokesperson Terry DeDoes, 4,304 customers in Roscommon County were affected by power interruptions as a result of the storm.

On Monday, Consumers Spokes­man Roger Morgenstern said power to all customers in Roscommon County was restored by 11:30 p.m. July 7. He said downed trees on lines caused by high winds were the main culprit.

Village of Roscommon resident Kevin Butler, who lives on the cor­ner of Hannah and Robinson streets, said when the storm hit he heard a crack and found himself without power after a tree across the street had landed on a power line.


THANKFUL Pastor Bryan and JoJean Thompson, 5184 West Houghton Lake Dr. (M-55), are grateful this tree did not do even more damage the night of the July 6 storm. It did not break any windows, cut electricity or ruin any tools in the garage, JoJean said, adding that there was some leaking in the living room. The Thompsons were home at the time – JoJean inside closing up windows and Bryan rushing in from the rain carrying an armful of gro­ceries – when it went “kaboom,” JoJean said. “There’s a whole lot to be thankful for,” she said. (Photo by Cheryl Holladay) THANKFUL Pastor Bryan and JoJean Thompson, 5184 West Houghton Lake Dr. (M-55), are grateful this tree did not do even more damage the night of the July 6 storm. It did not break any windows, cut electricity or ruin any tools in the garage, JoJean said, adding that there was some leaking in the living room. The Thompsons were home at the time – JoJean inside closing up windows and Bryan rushing in from the rain carrying an armful of gro­ceries – when it went “kaboom,” JoJean said. “There’s a whole lot to be thankful for,” she said. (Photo by Cheryl Holladay) “I could not see out the window it was raining that bad,” Butler said.

Butler’s neighbor, Holly Holm, who lives on 7th Street said the tree Butler was referring to also caused her home to be without power. Holm did not hear the tree fall and when she looked out her window she did not expect to see a large tree down on the property next to her.

The tree caused Robinson Street to be blocked to traffic. The area was also surrounded by caution tape to warn residents of the danger. Village of Roscommon Manager John Rosc­zyk said during the July 10 council meeting that there were seven por­tions of village streets that had been blocked off as a reult of damage related to the storm. He added the last comparable storm to the one the area dealt with last week occurred in 1995.

Rosczyk said that he would be talking with the Roscommon Coun­ty Road Commission and Custom Tree Service to create a plan for the cleanup of the roads as well as the cemetery, which endured damaged to not only trees, but had headstones overturned. Trustee Mike Miller said during the meeting that Custom Tree Service had already been to the cem­etery and started the cleanup pro­cess.

Clerk Dawn Dodge in a July 10 telephone interview said the first step in cleaning the cemetery’s dam­age is to remove the trees that had been uprooted. Once they are re­moved, Dodge said the headstones that had been displaced as a result of the storm will be assessed.

Damage was also reported in oth­er areas around the county, includ­ing trees that were knocked down along Emery Road, and on M-55 on Houghton Lake’s South Shore.

At Higgins Lake, the storm knocked down trees causing power outages and interupted businesses.

Patricia Farrington of West Hig­gins Lake Hardware said she and her husband, Brian, were at the business until 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, helping their neighbors cut trees and directing traffic around downed lines on County Rd. 200.

On Friday, Farrington said the power had been restored but the store’s credit card machines were still down due to internet outages.

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