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Safest Places in Your Home During a Tornado: Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes Cause Significant Damage in Michigan

Multiple Tornadoes Cause Extensive Damage in Southern Michigan

A series of severe thunderstorms accompanied by multiple tornadoes have swept through southern Michigan, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Communities in West and southeast Michigan have been particularly affected by the powerful storms.

Tornadoes Touch Down in West Michigan

In Kalamazoo County, near Portage, multiple tornadoes touched down, causing significant damage in the area. Calhoun County also witnessed the destructive force of a tornado. Residents in Lenawee, Monroe, and Washtenaw counties have been urged to remain cautious as a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warnings remain active. Communities in southeastern Livingston County and southern Oakland County have also been warned about hail and strong winds.

Increased Number of Injuries in Mobile Home Parks

Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Community in Pavilion Township, situated just outside of Portage, saw approximately a dozen residents injured during the tornado. Some homes were completely destroyed, with at least one woman trapped inside her decimated home. Emergency personnel are working tirelessly to rescue survivors and ensure the safety of all residents.

Structural Damage Reported in Branch County

Sherwood Township in Branch County witnessed the destruction of seven structures, the majority of which were homes. Fortunately, no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported due to the tornado in this area.

Portage Community and Buildings Ravaged by Tornadoes

Reports from Portage indicate significant damage to residential and commercial buildings. The destructive force of the tornado also caused the collapse of a FedEx facility, while Jude’s Barbershop, located on Centre Road, was also affected. Mayor Particia Randall confirmed the occurrence of two tornadoes in Portage, resulting in extensive damage but no reports of injuries or fatalities.

State of Emergency Declared by Governor

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for several counties in Southwest Michigan, including Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch, and Cass counties. This declaration ensures that necessary resources are swiftly provided to aid affected areas. Whitmer expressed her concern for those impacted by the severe weather and praised the efforts of emergency teams and first responders.

Continued Efforts to Manage Storm aftermath and Provide Relief

Portage officials have advised residents to remain in safe shelters and avoid travel, allowing emergency responders to access affected areas. Power outages are widespread, with over 25,000 Consumers Energy and 2,700 Midwest Energy & Communications customers affected. Undersheriff Jason Bingaman confirmed that St. Joseph County experienced damage in numerous locations and that initial damage assessments would be carried out once life safety concerns were addressed.

This is a developing story.

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