Police and Fire Reports
COLOMA FIRE… The North Berrien Fire Rescue Department responded to this structure fire on Monday night at the El Asadero Restaurant. The fire was contained to the apartment located behind it which is where the fire started. There were no occupants present at the time and there were no injuries.
By Annette Christie Coloma Township Police activity On February 19, 2018 at approximately 8:14 p.m. a Coloma Township Police Officer was blocking N. Paw Paw St. and Baker St. for the North Berrien Fire Rescue Department. A vehicle pulled up to the barricade and stopped. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver and immediately smelled intoxicants. After conducting an investigation, the driver, a 47-year-old Bainbridge Twp. man was arrested for operating while intoxicated, 3rd offense and driving with a suspended license, 2nd offense. The subject was lodged in the Berrien County Jail. Earlier in the evening of February 19, a Coloma Township Police Officer stopped a vehicle on Coloma Rd. near Boyer Rd. for a defective tail light. After conducting an investigation, the driver, a 27-year-old Benton Township man, was arrested for driving with a suspended license, 2nd offense, operating without security (no vehicle insurance), and misdemeanor arrest warrants out of the Watervliet Police Department and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. The subject was lodged at the Berrien County Jail. The Coloma Township Police Department was dispatched on February 17, 2018 at 12:54 a.m. to a car in the ditch on Paw Paw Lake Rd. near Hagar Shore Rd. When the officer arrived at the scene, there were two people in the vehicle who were uninjured, but stuck in the vehicle due to water and ice around the doors. After a tow truck removed the vehicle from the ditch the officer was able to investigate the incident. The officer noticed the smell of intoxicants coming from the driver and conducted sobriety tests. The 43-year-old St. Joseph woman who was driving was subsequently lodged in the Berrien County Jail for operating while intoxicated.
Watervliet Township Police activity Berrien County Sheriff Deputies Goff and Puffer made 19 misdemeanor arrests and three felony arrests while patrolling in Watervliet Charter Township. For the month of January there were 59 traffic stops made resulting in 32 citations being written. The two did 22 assists to other agencies and performed 71 building and residential checks. They had 59 original complaints and 14 follow-ups. Puffer said that the felony arrests resulted from a traffic stop of an individual with a felony warrant and the other was from locating an individual with a warrant out of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.
North Berrien Fire Rescue saves restaurant The North Berrien Fire Rescue Department responded to a structure fire at 168 N. Paw Paw St. in the City of Coloma on Monday night. The apartment behind the El Asadero Restaurant was the location of the fire, and was held to that area. Chief Michael Mattix said that no injuries were reported and the apartment was unoccupied at the time of the fire. He said that the fire is believed to be accidental pending investigation. The damage is estimated at $35,000. Widespread flooding plagues Southwest Michigan Rising temperatures, heavy continuous rain, and melting snow piles have caused many problems with roadways and drains throughout multiple counties. Municipalities and emergency services personnel are dealing with widespread flooding that has plagued all of Southwest Michigan and beyond. The Berrien County Road Department and Van Buren County Road Commission have been responding to and working on multiple roads under water and road closures due to the extent of the situation. Both entities are posting road closures and roads to be cautious about on their Facebook pages as well as on their websites. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management is working with area first responders, transportation officials, public health officials and local municipal leaders to address the widespread flooding in Berrien County. In preparing for a flood please make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit available that contains a 72-hour supply of water, medications and essential items in case you are required to leave your home. Many low-lying roads throughout Berrien County are now currently underwater, washed away or are generally impassable. The Berrien County Road Department is working diligently to get these roads identified and place barricades where needed. Below is a link to the map that is provided by the Berrien County Road Department on their website. http://bcroad.org/maps/Berrien%20County%20Water%20over%20road%20map.pdf Motorists are reminded to not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of the water is not always clear and the road surface below the water can be compromised which may not be visible. Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are in place for your protection and safety. Turn around and find an alternative route to your destination. Be especially cautious when driving in the dark as it is harder to identify and recognize water over the roadway. Floods can be both damaging and life-threatening. While flooding is most prevalent near low-lying areas and bodies of waters such as rivers and streams, it can occur almost anywhere. For more information about what to do before, during and after flooding, go to www.michigan.gov/miready. To report damage caused by flooding or a disaster you can go to: http://www.bcsheriff.org/FormCenter/Emergency-Management-14/Report-Disaster-Damage-66 This form is not used to report an emergency or request emergency assistance. You need to call 911 for an emergency.
State Police provide tips for dealing with flooding With parts of southern Michigan experiencing heavy rain and snow melt, the Michigan State Police is encouraging residents and visitors to prepare for possible flooding. The National Weather Service says up to two inches of rain has already fallen on parts of southern Michigan and is forecasting another two to three inches of rain through Thursday. “Floods can be both damaging and life-threatening,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “Residents should take steps to prepare and stay safe. They should protect their property against any flooding hazards and check to ensure they are covered by insurance. When traveling, please be careful and do not drive through flooded roads,” Kelenske said. While flooding is most prevalent near low-lying areas and bodies of water, it can occur almost anywhere, including near small streams, creeks and even basements. Flash floods are the No. 1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The following terms are helpful: A flood watch is when flooding is possible in the area; a flash flood is rapid flooding, usually in low lying areas and where water floods with great force; a flash flood watch is when flash flooding is possible in the area; a flood warning is when flooding is occurring or will occur in the area. Those in danger should move to higher ground and listen to local media for evacuation orders; and a flash flood warning is when a flash flood is occurring and individuals should seek higher ground and listen to local media for evacuation orders. During a flood: Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Disconnect all electrical equipment. Do not walk through moving water. Six inches is enough water to knock you down. Listen to local media reports for information on whether the water supply is safe to drink. Avoid contacting flood waters because they can be contaminated by hazardous liquids and may contain sharp debris. Report and stay 25 feet away from downed power lines. Driving in flood conditions: Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling; a foot of water will float many vehicles; two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups trucks. Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way. Do not try to take short cuts—they may be blocked. Stick to designated routes. Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers. Preparing for a flood: Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person; scan and store important documents on an online, cloud-based program; put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home; check with your utility to learn how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home; create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home; consider installing sewer backflow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drain pipes; double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.