NWS survey confirms tornado in Portage was EF2 (2024)

More than 15 people were hurt, though no one was seriously injured overnight. About 15 homes were destroyed in a mobile home park community.

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — Tuesday evening brought severe weather to the majority of West Michigan. The greater Kalamazoo area saw some of the worst of that weather with multiple tornadoes touching down and over a dozen hurt.

Seven tornadoes were reportedly spotted across the Midwest region, four of which were reportedly in Michigan. The National Weather Service (NWS) is now releasing their survey on one of the reported tornadoes, which hit the Portage area.

The NWS said the tornado that hit the Portage area was confirmed as an EF2. Its estimated peak wind speed was 135 mph, its path reached about eight miles and its width was approximately 300 yards.

They said the tornado touched down near the intersection of South 10th Street and West R Avenue. It traveled east/northeast for around 11 miles before lifting north of East N Avenue just West of 31st Street.

Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Park in Portage was one of the hardest-hit areas, with entire homes destroyed.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office said about 176 homes were damaged, and about 15 were destroyed in that mobile home park community.

While there were no significant injuries to those who were inside those homes at the time, authorities said there were about 16 to 20 people who had non-life-threatening injuries.

"We recognize that this tornado appears to have come across from the part of Texas Township across the city of Portage into Pavilion Township. There is significant damage all along Centre Avenue, which is being handled by the city of Portage, as well as into Pavilion Township, and the Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Park there," the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office said late Tuesday.

There are multiple scenes across Kalamazoo County with heavy damage, especially on Westnedge Avenue, Centre Street and Oakland Drive with power lines down and debris in the road.

"Homes in the roadway. We found homes in neighbor's homes. We found large trees in homes. We found many vehicles that have been smashed by large trees or homes. We're finding again, no one in these vehicles," the sheriff's office said. "One of the things that I found, when I'm talking to residents out there as we were going in the area door-to-door, we were able to find out that they were people paying attention, paying attention to the weather service information. That was a huge success in knowing that our community pays attention to the weather services."

While the community is dealing with the damage from the storms, the Portage Department of Public Safety asked people to avoid traveling to the area.

Portage Mayor Patricia Randall declared an emergency to secure resources from the State of Michigan and the federal government.

Portage Public Schools announced schools will be closed on Wednesday, May 8 to allow families and the community to recover after the storms.

"My heart goes out to all those affected by tonight’s severe weather in southwest Michigan. Emergency teams are on the ground and working to assist Michiganders. I encourage everyone to continue monitoring severe weather alerts and follow the advice of emergency officials," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Kalamazoo County Emergency Management is asking residents with damage to share their reports through an online survey. This will help emergency managers and cleanup crews better assess the damage, and speed up their response.

You can find the link here.

With homes destroyed, that leaves many people displaced. Through the American Red Cross, the City of Portage identified this shelter:

  • First Assembly of God at 5550 Oakland Drive

You can call 1-800-RED CROSS for help.

If Portage residents need assistance with sheltering or other human service needs, you can call 211. Residents with questions about city services like brush pickup or clean-up assistance can call 269-329-4444.

Jude's Barbershop in Portage posted to Facebook sharing the damage to their shop and reported nobody was injured.

Our barbershop in Portage on Centre Rd was hit by the Tornado. Luckily, everyone is safe.

Posted by Jude's Barbershop onTuesday, May 7, 2024

Viewers from the Kalamazoo area sent in photos and videos showing some of the damage the storms left behind.

Photos included debris such as trees, powerlines and large branches down. They also shared shots of roofs torn off buildings, car crashes, damage to buildings and more.

Gallery of tornado damage in Kalamazoo area

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As severe weather tore through Kalamazoo County, we're learning of the damage the weather left in its wake.

The damage from the storms also left tens of thousands without power on Tuesday evening. At 6:45 p.m., Consumers Energy reported over 25,000 people without power. We'll be continuing to update outages here.

Bronson Medical Hospital, located in Downtown Kalamazoo told 13 ON YOUR SIDE they were assessing injuries with their team but could not elaborate further.

  • Southwest Michigan sees multiple confirmed tornadoes, severe weather Tuesday
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  • 'Things are not getting good': FedEx driver recalls driving through severe storm that ripped roof off shipping center

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NWS survey confirms tornado in Portage was EF2 (2024)


NWS survey confirms tornado in Portage was EF2? ›

EF-2 Tornado in Portage

Did the tornado touch down near Portage Michigan? ›

(CBS DETROIT) - The National Weather Service confirmed on Wednesday that an EF-2 tornado struck Portage, Michigan, Tuesday evening. Weather officials say the tornado reached an estimated peak wind of 135 mph and touched down near the intersection of S. 10th Street and W. R Avenue.

Where did the tornado hit in Kalamazoo, Michigan? ›

The tornado touched down around 4 p.m. on May 13, 1980, starting in a residential area in Kalamazoo Township before making its way through downtown Kalamazoo. It was on the ground for 25 minutes and traveled 11 miles. It hit the Gilmore Department Store, killing two and taking off the wall of the six-story building.

Has there ever been a F6 tornado? ›

In total, two tornadoes received the rating of F6, but both were later downgraded to F5. Based on aerial photographs of the damage it caused, Fujita assigned the strongest tornado of the 1974 Super Outbreak, which affected Xenia, Ohio, a preliminary rating of F6 intensity ± 1 scale.

Where did the tornado hit in Michigan today? ›

A deadly tornado powered by winds of up 95 mph touched down near Livonia's western border Wednesday so quickly there wasn't time to deploy the city's emergency notification system before the twister cut a 5.5-mile path through the city, officials said Thursday.

How big was the tornado in Portage Michigan? ›

This storm, which packed a windspeed of 135 mph, touched down near South 10th Street and West R Avenue, and traveled east-northeast for about 11 miles until it lifted north of East N Avenue near 31st Street, the report detailed. In addition, the twister itself measured a width of 300 yards, according to officials.

What was the damage of the tornado in Portage? ›

Major damage (extensive repairs or demolition needed) – 129 total, including 80 single family homes, 11 multi-family buildings, 27 mobile homes, 10 business structures (multiple tenants), 1 nonprofit organization structure.

What was the deadliest tornado in Michigan history? ›

What If? On June 8, 1953, the deadliest tornado in Michigan history struck the northern Flint community of Beecher-- killing 116 and injuring 844 along its path.

Where is Tornado Alley located in Michigan? ›

The largest tornado alley is a wide swath from west to east from the Grand Rapids area to the Lansing area to the Flint/Saginaw area. The second tornado alley lies in far southern Lower Michigan from the Coldwater area to Hillsdale to Adrian to Monroe.

What county in Michigan has had the most tornadoes? ›

From 1950 to 2012, the counties in Michigan that experienced the most tornado activity were:
  • Genesee 41.
  • Monroe 33.
  • Lenawee 32.
  • Berrien 31.
  • Kent 31.
  • Oakland 31.
  • Allegan 29.
  • Wayne 29.
Apr 16, 2013

What is a F12 tornado? ›

An F12 tornado would have winds of about 740 MPH, the speed of sound. Roughly 3/4 of all tornadoes are EF0 or EF1 tornadoes and have winds that are less than 100 MPH. EF4 and EF5 tornadoes are rare but cause the majority of tornado deaths.

Is there a F7 tornado? ›

Well, as others have said, there is no such thing as an F7 tornado since the scale, for all practical purposes, only goes up to F5. But the other issue is that tornadoes are not rated based on their appearance, nor is appearance necessarily a good indicator of intensity.

Is a 40 mph tornado bad? ›

F-0: Gale tornado (40 – 72 mph). Light damage. Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.

What tornado went through 3 states? ›

On March 18, 1925, the Great Tri-State Tornado tore across Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Southwest Indiana.

When was the last ef5 tornado in Michigan? ›

The last F5 tornado in Michigan was the Hudsonville-Standale tornado of April 3, 1956. It was debated in the U.S. Congress at the time whether recent atomic bomb testing in the upper atmosphere had caused tornadoes, including this one.

Where is Tornado Alley now? ›

"Tornado Alley" is a shorthand term that has typically described the central Plains region of the United States, but according to the study, published in April in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, parts of the eastern U.S. now face the "greatest tornado threat." Tornado activity is now much more ...

Was the FedEx facility in Portage damaged by the tornado? ›

— The FedEx facility in Portage was one of the hardest-hit locations by the tornadoes last Tuesday. The building sustained significant damage, including destroying three van lines, where they lodge vehicles. Annette Brown, a safety specialist with FedEx, described the roof peeling back like a can of sardines.

What town in Michigan had a tornado? ›

Officials in Livonia, Michigan, said the tornado tore through several neighborhoods on Wednesday afternoon and developed so quickly that there was no advance notice from the National Weather Service or others that would have normally led to the activation of warning sirens.

How will I know if a tornado touches down in my area? ›

A loud roar - similar to a freight train - or a strange quiet occurring within or shortly after a thunderstorm. A change in the color of the sky. Debris dropping from the sky.

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