Snyder declares state of disaster after Ionia County tornado

The sanctuary of the First Congregational Church in Portland is demolished. (June 24, 2015)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster for Ionia County after a tornado last month caused significant damage to the city of Portland.

The declaration announced Monday makes state resources available for recovery efforts. Area damage also was reported in Orange and Portland townships. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state efforts.

>>Photos: Damage after tornado in Portland

(The path the Portland tornado may have taken.)
(The path the Portland tornado may have taken.)

Homes, churches and businesses were among the structures damaged. In addition, Snyder has opened up the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to affected local governments within Ionia County. Communities can apply for grants to cover eligible response costs of up to $100,000.

Since June 22, Ionia County has been under a local state of emergency. Storms June 22-23 spawned several tornadoes around Michigan, causing destruction but no deaths.

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