Tornadoes confirmed after storms kill at least 5 in Michigan, Ohio

Several tornadoes toppled trees, ripped roofs off buildings and killed five people as part of a series of severe storms driven by winds of up to 75 mph in Michigan and Ohio. The storm left hundreds of thousands of customers without power, officials said.

The National Weather Service confirmed on Friday that an EF-1 tornado struck the western edge of nearby Livingston County from Ingham County on Thursday night with gusts of up to 90 mph.

The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office said one person was confirmed dead and several others were seriously injured, and more than 25 vehicles were severely damaged on Interstate 96.

After entering Livingston County, initial reports showed the tornado was on the ground for a mile or less before “weakening and lifting,” said Dave Gurney, a meteorologist with the weather service’s office in Oakland County’s White Lake Township.

In Lansing, the state capital in Ingham County, an 84-year-old woman died Thursday night when a tree fell on her home, Lansing Police Department spokesman Jordan Gulkis said. Firefighters were able to extricate the woman, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Another tornado has been confirmed to have touched down west of Belleville, the NWS said. The tornado struck near or south of the Wagner homestead farm and mainly blew leaves and branches, but also downed several trees in its path. The National Weather Service said the tornado was three miles across.

A 21-year-old woman and two girls, ages 1 and 3, are dead after a two-vehicle crash in west Michigan that rained Thursday night, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said.

“Two vehicles were heading towards each other. One flies in the water It was occupied by four people,” Sergeant Eric Brunner told WZZM-TV.

A 22-year-old Cowan man, who was driving a car carrying a Cowan woman and two other girls, was seriously injured when his car collided with an SUV, the sheriff’s office said. The driver sustained minor injuries.

Traffic is diverted from I-275 near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, after vehicles were stranded overnight in flooding.

Paul Sancia / AB

Trees were uprooted and some roofs collapsed. Several roads were closed due to downed trees and power poles.

As the storm moved south overnight, it spawned at least four tornadoes in Ohio, one of which destroyed the roof of a church in Cleveland.

As of Friday night, about 338,000 customers were without power in Michigan and about 107,000 in Ohio. website.

Sandy Dupanic was asleep when the storm hit her home in the Newport community near Detroit.

“The tree branch on my porch came through my window, glass everywhere,” Dupanic told CBS News.

In Southfield, a northern Detroit suburb of Oakland County, Mukitu Perry said he was at his farmhouse around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

The tree came to rest across Perry’s vehicle and front yard, uprooting power lines and downing his driveway and at least one other vehicle, leaving Perry and his neighbors without power.

“I can’t get out of my driveway. I can’t go anywhere,” Perry said Friday morning. “We’re not in power, and it’s very frustrating.”

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans declared a state of emergency Friday in Michigan’s largest county, which includes Detroit, due to power outages, flooding, downed trees and power lines and storm debris.

The county warned residents to avoid any contact with several rivers as municipalities released partially or fully untreated sewage into various waterways due to flooding.

In Macomb County, northeast of Detroit, thousands of basements in Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores survived the flooding, as stormwater and sewage were diverted to the lake through an emergency bypass system, Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said. The bypass has only been used three times since 2017, but was used twice this week.

“Obviously, these storms have become our new normal,” Miller said. “It’s like a tropical storm, and the government and residents should make appropriate preparations whenever possible.”

Canton Township, west of Detroit and home to about 100,000 people, suffered flooding in its downtown business district earlier this week. Later Thursday night the storms “produced at least two heavy wind tornadoes, if not tornadoes,” said Town Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak.

“Some of our parks have been destroyed,” he said, adding that the township had received calls from 200 residents about flooding in their basements.

Part of the roof of an adult foster care facility near Williamston in Ingham County collapsed.

The storm followed heavy rain Thursday night and dumped 5 inches of rain in southeast Michigan by Thursday morning, resulting in street flooding in the Detroit area, including tunnels leading to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the suburb of Romulus, officials said. said. Officials reopened the airport’s McNamara terminal Thursday afternoon.

A severe storm formed in the western part of the state on Thursday afternoon.

“Once I felt the suction, I could feel the force of it, I could feel it all shaking, I could feel the roof shaking and coming apart,” James Gale, a caregiver for 14, told WXYZ-TV. He said the ceiling was gone from a woman’s room and she was taken to the hospital. Others were taken elsewhere by buses.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center Thursday evening to provide support to affected communities “as they respond to the impacts of the flooding.”

The western parts of the United States have been flooded by heavy rains over the past few weeks Tropical Storm Hillary, and much of Central America was hit by deadly heat. In Hawaii And WashingtonEmergency crews battled the devastating wildfire.

Mitzi Hale and her three sons look out the window as Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal closes, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Romulus, Mich. And his boys were late going to Florida for vacation. Parts of Michigan received 5 inches of rain, flooding tunnels leading to Detroit’s main airport.

Mike Householder / AB

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