West Michigan derecho 1998

The Derecho Severe Thunderstorm of 5/31/98

May 31st is the anniversary of the famous “derecho” thunderstorm outbreak of 1998.  Around 5 AM that Sunday morning, the storms blasted through West Michigan with winds estimated as high as 130 mph in Grand Haven and Walker.  According to the Storm Prediction Center, this episode ranks as one of the top thunderstorm events in world history!  A large area of significant wind damage occurred from South Dakota all the way to the East Coast.  In Michigan, there were four fatalities and 153 people were injured.  Not a single stoplight was working between Grand Rapids and Baldwin.  The toll would…