GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A powerful storm system moved across the Great Lakes Thursday night, spawning a deadly tornado in northern Illinois and knocking out power to hundreds of homes in West Michigan.
The storms were responsible for some damage in the city of Muskegon and near Sparta. 24 Hour News 8 came across a badly damaged storage building for the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon which left debris scattered across the area. There were also several reports across West Michigan of hail, downed trees and power lines and storm debris on roads.
Business Route US-31, which is also known as Shoreline Drive, was shut down for a time due to debris. However, as of just after 11:30 a.m. Friday, that had reopened after the debris was cleared away by Michigan Department of Transportation employees.
Hundreds of Consumers Energy customers lost power as a result of the strong winds.
Here’s the current county power outage numbers as of 1:30 p.m. Friday according to the Consumers Energy online outage map:
- Newaygo: 40
- Mecosta: 231
- Allegan: 18
- Ionia: 60
>>Inside woodtv.com: Power outage map
A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday with wind gusts of up to 45 mph possible.
There were severe thunderstorm warnings for Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa counties Thursday night. They all expired by 12:30 a.m. Friday. There was also a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for nearly all of West Michigan until 3 a.m. Friday.
Through the night, storms will exit West Michigan and be replaced by cooler air and a steady breeze of 15-30 miles per hour on Friday. Partial clearing is likely through the day on Friday and dry and warmer weather is likely for this coming weekend.
Earlier Thursday, there was a threat of severe weather in southwestern Michigan, with significant weather advisory for Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties and a tornado warning for Branch and St. Joseph counties. All of those expired before 7:30 p.m. Storm Team 8 did not receive reports of any tornadoes touching down, but there were reports of heavy rain and hail.Tweets by @WOODTV
This was 2015’s first chance of severe weather in West Michigan. It’s a good time to review your family’s severe weather plan for where to go and what to do if severe weather strikes your community.
The free Storm Team 8 app will give you current radar and lightning data, as well as the latest forecast.
Rain totals across West Michigan have been high in the last 24 hours. Grand Rapids and Muskegon both set a new daily rainfall record. Grand Rapids saw 2.05″, breaking the old one of 1.38″ set in 1991. Muskegon saw 2.24″ replacing the old record of 1.03″ in 1999.
Many locations across West Michigan picked up 1-3″ of rain. To compare, we usually see a total of 3.35″ of rain over the entire month of April! This helps quench the slight drought we had coming off of March. Only about 1″ of rain fell in the entire month of March.