1 year since 6 tornadoes hit West Michigan

Bangor Township tornado
Surveillance video shows a tornado over a soybean field in Bangor Township. (Aug. 20, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday marks one year since a storm system spawned six tornadoes that ripped through West Michigan, damaging businesses and homes.

Tornadoes in West Michigan are ususally small and isolated. They generally spin up suddenly and lift quickly. But that’s not what happened on the afternoon of Aug. 20, 2016. Over the course of about two hours, a huge storm system gave rise to a rash of twisters spanning six counties.

Luckily, there were no injuries reported anywhere in West Michigan — in part because of early warnings from the National Weather Service.

>>Photos of tornado damage

The first tornado, an EF-1 packing winds up to 110 mph, touched down southwest of Bangor. As it tracked north and northeast, it cut a path of destruction through a blueberry farm and tore part of the roof from the Columbia Township Hall in Grand Junction. After nearly 20 minutes, it finally lifted in southern Allegan County.

Within the next hour, there were two more EF-1 tornadoes. One tracked northeast between Fennville and Hamilton, damaging dozens of homes. The other was in Jamestown Township in Ottawa County.

In the following half-hour, EF-0 tornadoes were on the ground in Grandville and Wyoming and northeast Grand Rapids. Shortly thereafter, another EF-1 tornado tracked eight miles through Orleans Township and Fenwick in Ionia and Montcalm counties.


Inside woodtv.com:

Complete coverage of the Aug. 20 tornadoes