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Survivors of Portage tornado recount panic, fear during twister that devastated Michigan city

todayMay 7, 2024 3

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PORTAGE, Mich. – People in Portage, Michigan, told terrifying stories of surviving a tornado that they said hit with almost no warning. It was the first of two tornadic storms that moved through the city just south of Kalamazoo.Amanda Miller was in the break room at Jude’s Barber Shop when she heard a commotion. She rushed out to the floor where her coworker still had a client.”It was pretty scary and happened, really quickly, before we even knew it was coming,” Miller told FOX Weather just an hour after her ordeal. “The door was flapping open and one of the girls went to lock it, then the hall windows shattered, and the roof was gone, basically.” WHAT IS A ‘TORNADO EMERGENCY’?Miller and her coworker escaped injury despite the ceiling falling in. She said the client covered the two with his body until the tornado passed.She shared pictures of the business next door, where the inside of the offices were visible after the front wall of the building was ripped off. Several employees were trapped.WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WATCH AND A WARNING?”The girls were stuck inside for a little bit,” Miller said. “But everyone made it out okay.”Miller said she plans on taking a couple of days off. After that, she thinks that she can go to a different location to work.”That was pretty traumatizing,” she said. “Luckily, we have a few other stores in the area, so I’m sure everyone will still be able to work, but I don’t think our shop is going to be back anytime soon.”The tornado also destroyed the local FedEx building with workers sheltering inside.FEDEX FACILITY DAMAGED IN MICHIGAN AS TORNADOES REPORTED ACROSS MIDWEST, OHIO VALLEYJosh Manning worked at a warehouse next door to the FedEx building. His wife, Hannah Hudson, was at home and saw the warning on television. She called Josh who didn’t know of the storm closing in.”His phone hadn’t alerted him yet, and I begged him to just leave the truck and get in a building,” Hudson wrote in a social media post.He listened and recorded a video of the scene he saw play out through the windows.HOW TO FIND YOUR TORNADO SAFE PLACEJust before he ran inside, he warned the guard at the front gate and may have saved her life.”He told the guard to take shelter. She said she would if it got bad,” Hudson continued. “Apparently she rode it out in the guard shack!”The winds literally picked up the truck containers and tossed them.MAY IS PEAK MONTH FOR TORNADOES IN THE US”You have a semi that was thrown on top of another one,” explained Meteorologist Steve Bender. “But notice this, the adjacent semis are untouched, which means this was not the adjacent one that rolled on top of it. That means this heavy semi that has to weigh tons, thousands and thousands of pounds fell on top of this one in the middle. That speaks to the intensity.”FedEx said in a statement to FOX News that no serious injuries happened at the facility.The tornado took a toll on a nearby mobile home park.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHEREntire sections of the neighborhood are bare, scraped of homes.”Look at some of those trees to be on the buildings. Notice the trees are completely shredded. So they’re not toppled over. The limbs are ripped from one another,” continued Bender. “And then you’ll look at that mobile home that’s in the road, itself toppled over. And a lot of these are ripped off of their foundation.” 

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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