Severe tornadoes and storms hit Michigan on Tuesday Severe weather threat on Wednesday.

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Severe tornadoes and storms barreled through southwestern Michigan on Tuesday evening, causing destruction and injuries. Meanwhile, millions from northeast Texas to the Carolinas are under a slight risk of severe weather on Wednesday.

A mobile home park in Pavilion Township saw at least a dozen injuries from a tornado on Tuesday, with additional minor injuries in Kalamazoo County. Nearby in Portage, a FedEx facility sustained significant damage, though fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported.

Approximately 50 people were briefly trapped due to downed wires, but authorities successfully cleared the building. The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes in the Portage area, resulting in extensive damage to residential and commercial buildings, road closures due to fallen trees, and reports of gas leaks.

Portage officials urged residents to stay home and off the roads to avoid impeding emergency responders.

The Village of Centreville experienced significant impact during a potential tornado on Tuesday, as reported by St. Joseph County officials. Multiple buildings, both residential and commercial, were leveled after a suspected tornado struck Centreville, causing extensive roof damage and completely destroying homes, according to St. Joseph County Undersheriff Jason Bingaman.

 

Severe tornadoes and storms hit Michigan
Severe tornadoes and storms hit Michigan

In Branch County, located approximately 60 miles south of Kalamazoo, at least seven homes were demolished due to the storm, according to Emergency Management Director Tim Miner. Other parts of the county were inaccessible for damage assessment.

The city of Union City in the county faced a rare tornado emergency when a large and destructive tornado was confirmed over the area, moving northeast at 45 mph, as per the National Weather Service.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, Michigan reported at least nine tornadoes on Tuesday, alongside reports of softball-sized hail in certain areas.

Over 34,000 homes and businesses in Michigan lost power by early Wednesday, according to poweroutage.us. Meanwhile, in Ohio, over 16,000 residents were also without power.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer expressed sympathy for those affected by the severe weather in southwest Michigan and declared a state of emergency for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch, and Cass counties on Tuesday night.

“We will collaborate with emergency teams overnight to monitor the situation and coordinate resources for those impacted. Michigan is resilient, and together we will recover,” Governor Whitmer stated.

Following Tuesday’s tornadoes, hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, the Eastern US is preparing for another round of storms on Wednesday. More than 145 million people from Texas to Maine are expected to experience storm activity.

Tornado threat continues Wednesday

On Wednesday, a significant population of over 2 million people faces the strongest threat of severe storms. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a level 4 out of 5 moderate risk of severe thunderstorms covering parts of southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southwestern Kentucky, and northwestern and central Tennessee. These areas are expected to experience intense storms Wednesday afternoon, potentially producing strong tornadoes exceeding EF2 strength, large hail over 3 inches in diameter, and damaging wind gusts surpassing 74 mph.

Northeastern Texas to western West Virginia is under a level 3 out of 5 enhanced severe storm threat, encompassing cities like Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville, and Little Rock. This region may encounter tornadoes, hail larger than 2 inches, and gusts exceeding 74 mph.

The Storm Prediction Center anticipates numerous severe thunderstorms on Wednesday across parts of the mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys into the southern Plains. These storms are likely to bring tornadoes, very large hail, and damaging winds over a broad area, with the possibility of some strong tornadoes.

The National Weather Service warns of a significant flash flooding threat, particularly in Kentucky and Tennessee and neighboring states, coinciding with the risk of severe thunderstorms. Residents are urged to stay informed through multiple warning systems and avoid driving on flooded roads.

Lower severe storm threats extend from central Texas to the southern tip of Maine, affecting cities like Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Charlotte. In these areas, the primary risks are large hail and damaging wind gusts, although the potential for tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

There have been 13 consecutive days of tornado reports across US

Spring is notorious for severe storms and tornadoes, and Spring 2024 is proving to be no different. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there has been at least one tornado reported every day since April 25, marking a streak of 13 consecutive days with a total of 287 tornadoes reported during that period.

The peak tornado season across the US typically spans from April to June, with May traditionally experiencing the highest number of tornadoes. Following a notably active April with 300 tornadoes, the second-highest on record, this trend continues into May. The record for the most tornadoes in a single month was set in April 2011, with a staggering 757 tornadoes reported.

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