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Significant damage reported in Michigan as severe storms, tornadoes sweep across Midwest, Ohio Valley

todayMay 8, 2024

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PORTAGE, Mich. – A destructive multiday severe weather outbreak unleashed its second day of chaotic and extreme weather Tuesday as powerful thunderstorms and tornadoes caused significant damage to communities from the Midwest to the Ohio Valley, including a FedEx shipping facility. Several dozen Tornado Warnings stretched from Michigan to Kentucky on Tuesday night, with significant damage reported in Portage, Michigan, when a tornado moved through the town just south of Kalamazoo.Images and video posted to social media after the storm showed major damage to a FedEx facility in the city. FedEx officials said in a statement to FOX News that there were no serious injuries reported from those at the site.SURVIVORS OF PORTAGE TORNADO RECOUNT PANIC, FEAR DURING TWISTER THAT DEVASTATED MICHIGAN CITY”Our thoughts are with those affected by the tornado in Portage, Michigan, and we are grateful there were no serious injuries resulting from the damage to our facility at 6701 Portage Road,” the statement read. “We continue to assess the damage, and we are implementing contingency plans to lessen any potential impacts on service. Customers with questions about their shipments can check fedex.com for updates.”WHICH U.S. COUNTIES ARE MOST AT RISK OF TORNADO DAMAGE?In Michigan’s Kalamazoo County, the sheriff’s office said that at least 176 homes were damaged inside the Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Park in Kalamazoo, and between 16 and 20 injuries were reported across the county. All those who were injured were taken to local hospitals, and none of the injuries were significant.The sheriff’s office said sirens did sound ahead of the storm and said residents were weather aware, which helped to save lives.Aerial video from storm trackers showed extensive damage to several mobile homes after the storms. Some of them were flipped, while others were left splintered by the twister.”Please avoid any travel in the City of Portage until further notice,” Portage Public Safety officials wrote on Facebook.A second Tornado Warning was issued for the city of about 50,000 people about an hour later.A Tornado Emergency, the most dire of tornado alerts, was issued for Union City in Michigan, where the National Weather Service said a “large and destructive tornado” was moving through the area. After the storm there were numerous reports of trees and buildings that were damaged.MAY IS PEAK MONTH FOR TORNADOES IN THE USThis was the first-ever Tornado Emergency issued in the state of Michigan.”We have some guidance we look at in terms of issuing Tornado Emergencies,” said Nathan Marsili, a meteorologist at the NWS office for Northern Indiana. “We don’t really think about, you know, if it’s been issued before. It’s just a matter of how strong that rotation is and if it’s going to impact the community that really dictates whether we issue that.”Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a State of Emergency for four counties.”My heart goes out to all those impacted by tonight’s severe weather in southwest Michigan,” she said in a statement posted to X.TOWNS REELING ACROSS CENTRAL US AFTER ANOTHER ROUND OF DEADLY SEVERE WEATHER DECIMATES TOWNSIt wasn’t only Michigan that was hit hard by severe weather.Chopper video from FOX 32 Chicago showed damage to a barn near Harvard, Illinois, from a possible tornado, and rescuers could be seen sifting through the debris. FOX 32 reported four animals were killed in the collapse.FOX Weather Storm Tracker Brandon Copic captured video of a tornado moving through the area near Milroy, Indiana, that resulted in a Tornado Warning being issued for that storm.DOWNLOAD THE FREE FOX WEATHER APPDamage from possible tornadoes was also reported in several Ohio towns, with trees knocked down and damage to roofs reported in the town of Greenville. Trees were also uprooted in Mercer, and multiple farms were damaged in Gettysburg, Ohio. Radar indicated the possibility of significant damage from a tornado-warned storm near Senior.National Weather Service offices across the Midwest and Ohio Valley are sending out survey teams to assess the damage and determine whether it was caused by a tornado. They will also assign ratings to tornadoes once they are confirmed.NIGHTTIME TORNADOES FAR MORE LIKELY TO TURN DEADLY THAN DAYTIME ONESAround Cincinnati, heavy rains triggered flash flooding that covered several roads. The NWS reported at least three water rescues were needed across the area as over 2.5 inches of rain fell since Tuesday afternoon. North of the city, a large tree toppled in strong winds, damaging two homes, the NWS reported.Farther south, the NWS said it saw a video showing a tornado over Lake Hamilton in Arkansas that showed power flashes. A debris signature was found on radar shortly after.Damage was also spotted near the Arkansas community of Red Oak in Garland County.Photos posted to social media showed significant damage to homes, boats and a dock in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Wednesday.City officials said first responders performed search and rescue operations, and only minor injuries were reported.In West Virginia, the NWS said several homes were heavily damaged after a radar-confirmed tornado in Fairhaven.1 DEAD AFTER CATASTROPHIC EF-4 TORNADO LEVELS BARNSDALL, OKLAHOMA: ‘TOTAL DESTRUCTION’Work is also continuing on restoring power to the tens of thousands of customers who were left in the dark after the storms.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHERAccording to poweroutage.us, more than 17,000 customers were without power in Arkansas on Wednesday morning, and more than 30,000 customers were without power in Michigan. Ohio was reported to have just under 10,000 customers without power.This isn’t the end of the multiday severe weather threat.More than 148 million people from Texas to New England are at risk of seeing severe thunderstorms on Wednesday, with nearly 3 million people across portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, including Nashville, in a Level 4 out of 5 risk on the Storm Prediction Center’s 5-point severe thunderstorm risk scale.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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