Battle Creek City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama also praised residents who helped each other.
"It's amazing, but this community is always like that -- neighbors helping neighbors, people just helping out.
That kind of response was heartwarming ... and reinforced what we see pretty regularly from folks in our community," he
said the response from city crews was "almost immediate" after the Sunday afternoon storm and he
lauded the cooperation among various governmental and nonprofit entities in meeting needs.
"In some respects, we were very well prepared," he
"I really think the community's response, from the government and community service perspectives, was pretty doggone good."
As exhausting and challenging as the past three weeks were for city employees, Tsuchiyama
was delighted by the attitudes and work ethic of field workers, many of whom worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Still many volunteered to work Saturday, the first optional day since May 29 for the crews picking up debris and using heavy equipment.
"It's been impressive and very fulfilling for me to watch all the city folks band together and get through this," he
Looking ahead to the next major storm, the city manager said there are a couple areas where the city can improve.
"You always identify things you wish you'd have done differently, but every disaster that hits creates a little different situation," said Tsuchiyama
noted that, in hindsight, he'd have enlisted the help of the United Way of Greater Battle Creek
as quickly as possible.
With the May 29 storm, United Way
, which often acts as a central contact point for nonprofits, wasn't contacted for assistance in coordinating human services until four or five days after the storm.
also said the city, in future prolonged power outages, should figure out how to get basic information to residents rapidly.