Northern Kent and Newaygo counties dealing with wind damage and outages

Posted at 7:32 PM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 19:32:46-05

ROCKFORD, Mich., - It was a wild 24 hours in West Michigan as winds as high as 60 mph or more knocked out power to more than 100,000 people in the state.

In West Michigan, many in northern portions of Kent County and much of Newaygo County woke up with no power on Christmas Eve, putting a wrench in many holiday plans. Lifeless traffic lights could be seen swaying in the wind on M-37 and 10 Mile in Sparta. But the most notable damage could be found near Rockford, where a massive tree came crashing down onto Anthony Perez's house overnight.

"As soon as I laid down, I heard a big pop and I think that's when the roots came out of the ground, and, of course, a bang when it hit the house," said Perez.

"I think we're pretty lucky that it didn’t break through the house," said Perez, "I think we lost some gutters, shingles, some aluminum siding, and an antenna. But I think we’re pretty lucky it didn’t go through the house."

Residents at the Glenwood Estates Mobile Home Park, near Sparta, lost power during the night as well.

"It just went. There was no flick or hesitation," said Patrica Tyler, a resident there.

Many in Metro Grand Rapids also woke up to no power Christmas Eve. The west side of the city was hit especially hard, and one local non-profit opened its doors to those who were without power.

The Geek Group, located on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids, opened its doors for people to stop in. People can warm up, charge a cell phone, or just come to be entertained for a few hours.

"We've got hot water, we even have showers. This building used to be a YMCA so this way we can help out our local neighbors," said Chris Boden, Vice Chair of The Geek Group.

Boden says The Geek Group will be open until power is restored on Grand Rapids' west side. The Geek Group is located at 902 Leonard St NW in Grand Rapids.

Follow the Geek group on Facebook and Twitter for more information.