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I-96 tornado cleanup in Ingham County causes safety concerns for MDOT crews

Vehicles pass a cleanup crew along I-96 between Williamston and Webberville.  There are downed trees along the road.
Timothy L Burke
Michigan Department of Transportation
Vehicles pass a cleanup crew along I-96 between Williamston and Webberville. A tornado last month did extensive damage to trees and billboards along the highway.

Cleanup crews are continuing to work on a stretch of I-96 between Williamston and Webberville. That’s after the area saw extensive damage because of a tornado last month.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is asking drivers to observe speed limits where crews are cleaning up from downed trees and billboards.

MDOT spokesperson Aaron Jenkins was on site this week and saw cars zooming past workers at 80 mph. He adds he saw one driver texting while speeding, which is illegal.

“You’ve got a car going by you, and they’re texting, and you’ve got your back to them and you’re doing the work. It’s scary,” he explained. "It takes a very special person to do that job.”

30-40 crews from seven different garages are working on the cleanup.

“We don’t need anyone to drive off the road after the storm and hit a downed tree or anything else. There’s so many things that are knocked down," Jenkins added.

Jenkins expects the cleanup work to take another week or two.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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