A National Weather Service storm survey confirmed two tornadoes in Macomb County Thursday evening. One twister touched down near 22 Mile and Hayes, while the second hit along Groesbeck Highway.
The first tornado touched down near the intersection of 22 Mile Road and Hayes Road. The tornado, with winds estimated up to 90 mph, touched down at 7:27 pm and tracked nearly due south before lifting at 7:33 pm just east of Hayes Road on M-59. The twister traveled about two miles with a maximum width of 250 yards. Damage included multiple homes with roof damage in addition to trees and power lines blown down.
The second tornado had winds estimated up to 85 miles per hour. It touched down at 7:43 p.m. and lifted five minutes later just west of 14 Mile and Harper Avenue.
The tornado stayed on the ground for three miles and had a width of 200 yards, according to the Weather Service. A number of trees were blown down along with power lines.
The same storm system packing heavy rain, lightning, high winds, and hail hit parts of Oakland, Macomb, and Lapeer counties Thursday evening.
WWJ heard from Debra Faust of Oxford, who watched the storm roll in from the Lapeer area.
“We could definitely see a very defined updraft. And, when the updraft got to where we were, it was sucking air probably 40-miles an hour. The storm was so strong, it sucked our neighbor’s air conditioner right out of his upstairs window,” Faust said.
Late Friday afternoon, 53,000 homes and businesses remained without power. The bulk of the outages, 45,000, were in Macomb County.
WWJ tipster Eric described the damage near 25 Mile and Jewell Road, just east of the Van Dyke freeway in Shelby Township.
“We have three up-rooted trees in our yard, between my neighbor and myself. The extensive storm damage — it looks like a war zone, basically, out there…I have never experienced anything this severe,” he said.
At Lakeside Mall, people were taken to the lower floor and told to go into the hallway. One person at the mall said some shoppers were screaming.
Another tipster said she saw a funnel cloud near 13 Mile Rd. and Schoenherr.
WWJ’s Marie Osborne reports that enough hail was on the ground to cover the grass and make it look like snow along Hayes Road and Hall Road in Clinton Township. Trees were also down throughout Macomb County.
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel reports no injuries. Speaking live on WWJ Thursday night, Hackel said the brunt of the storm hit Shelby, Macomb, Clinton and Harrison townships along with the city of Mt. Clemens.
WWJ listener Mitch Morano snapped a photo of a 60 foot pine tree that was blown down.
Trained spotters reported trees down along Van Dyke between 22 and 25 Mile Road. Numerous trees and boats in dry dock were blown down in and around Stony Creek Park.
Stony Creek Metropark was closed until Friday afternoon. A rustic camping outing for 71 families was cancelled. Park officials say more than 100 trees were damaged.
Homeowners in Oakland Township and Oxford reported trees down and power outages.
A trained National Weather Service spotter reported numerous trees down in downtown Oxford.
The National Weather Service storm survey team concluded that the damage observed in and around the Lake Orion, Oxford, and Metamora areas was consistent with thunderstorm straight line winds with speeds up to 70 mph.
In Metamora, in Lapeer County, high winds bent posts and caused damage at one store.
Additionally, the National Weather Service storm survey team concluded that the damage in eastern Genesee County and western Lapeer County – near Davison and Elba – was consistent with thunderstorm straight line winds with speeds up to 80 mph and was about 2.5 miles wide.
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