WEST MICHIGAN – What began on Wednesday as a quiet day with just a few garden variety showers and thundershowers in the morning ended on a much more destructive note. Evening storms ripped through portions of the FOX 17 viewing area downing trees, power lines, and leaving roads flooded.
We had several severe thunderstorm warnings issued, and one brief tornado warning for southeast Allegan County and southern Barry County as two storm cells merged together and created some strong radar indicated rotation. Frequent lightning, very heavy rain, hail, and damaging wind gusts were the primary threats as storms went in to the overnight hours of Thursday morning.
Crews with Consumers Energy are dealing with widespread outages early Thursday morning. A look at their online outage map shortly after the storms rolled through, showed just how many customers were without power.
We have reports from Northwest Energy Cooperative that at least 2,000 customers are without power in places like Paw Paw, Bloomingdale, Gobles, Covert, Hartford, Bangor, Mattawan, and Coloma. Many damage reports have also come in from Van Buren of trees being down. We’ve also received reports of other scattered power outages.
Kalamazoo reported some power poles snapped and a tree on an elementary school at the corner of Woodward and North Streets. There was also a report of a garage that was blown down which was under construction. FOX 17 received phone calls from northwest Calhoun County around the St. Mary’s Lake and Bedford area of power being out, heavy rain, and multiple trees down.
Flooding rains have been an issue across the area. From Potterville, to Middleville, to Holt, flash flooding has occurred with some rainfall totals of more than three inches. In fact, we have reports that I-69 around Potterville has been closed due to flooding as well as an accident. Also several reports from Dimondale of roads flooded and cars stalled and flipped by flood waters.
Reports around Pullman in Allegan County of 30 to 40 foot tall trees were reported down along 104th Avenue. Speaking of Allegan County, our highest rainfall total of 3.75 inches was recorded there.
Thursday and Friday will be much quieter days filled with some sunshine and a cooler, drier air mass. Get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather. Don’t forget to post weather reports and damage photos on our FOX 17 Facebook page or email at email@example.com. The attached photo was submitted to our FOX 17 Facebook page by Ryan Cusentino taken around the Lawton area.