In areas of Michigan and Ohio overnight and into Friday, more than 500,000 homes and businesses are without power after a powerful series of severe thunderstorms delivered torrential rainfall, high winds, and at least one verified tornado to the area.
Overnight, the storms moved from southern Michigan into Ohio, posing a possibility of tornadoes, hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter, and strong wind gusts of up to 85 mph. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for northern Ohio until three in the morning. Friday ET.
A significant and “extremely dangerous” tornado was confirmed near Williamston, Michigan, in Ingham County, at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service offices in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
Many vehicles on the nearby Interstate 96 flipped Thursday night as a consequence of the storm, according to Michigan State Police Lt. Rene Gonzalez of CNN, trapping some of the drivers inside.
No life-threatening injuries were reported in Ingham County, according to Rob Dale of the county’s emergency management office. Less than ten non-life-threatening injuries, according to him, were reported on the road.
Assisted Living Facility’s Miracle
According to Dale, the severe weather had an impact on the county’s rural, mostly agricultural industry.
He claimed that numerous homes were damaged and several barns were destroyed. Dale noted that, although the roof of an assisted living facility collapsed, everyone inside was secure and unharmed.
“Everyone in a house or a building was fine,” he said. During the day, officials intend to reevaluate the county’s damage.
According to the tracker PowerOutage.us, the storms overnight left 400,000 people without power in southern Michigan and more than 200,000 without electricity in northern Ohio.
Detroit had a strong gust of 70 mph on Thursday night. The storms follow a previous bout of severe rain that ended Thursday morning in southern Michigan and northern Ohio, dropping 7 to 8 inches in some locations.
The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on Thursday had to cancel inbound flights due to the previous downpours, and overnight flooding forced the closing of certain roads. On Thursday, about 18% of planes leaving from the airport were canceled, although the roads were eventually restored.