Tornado damages FedEx facility, mobile home park in West Michigan

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Severe thunderstorms barrel through southern Michigan producing multiple tornadoes that cause significant damage.

In western Michigan, several tornadoes touched down in Kalamazoo County near Portage and Calhoun County.

In southeast Michigan, a tornado watch is in effect for Lenawee, Monroe and Washtenaw counties, as well as severe thunderstorm warnings, including hail and strong winds, for southeast Livingston County and southern Oakland County.

Follow below for live weather updates.

Michigan Weather Radar: View current conditions

Several injuries were reported at a mobile home park hit by the tornado

About A dozen residents of the Pavilion Estates mobile home community in Pavilion Township, outside Portage, were injured in Tuesday’s storms. At least one woman was trapped inside her home, which was destroyed, according to neighbors. Nick Ormold, director of public safety for the city of Portage, said emergency crews will have until Tuesday night to get a full account of residents and make sure no one is still trapped inside.

7 structures were destroyed in Branch County

A tornado moving out of St. Joseph County destroyed seven structures in Sherwood Township, mostly homes, Branch County Emergency Manager Tim Miner said, with no deaths or serious injuries.

Portage had no serious injuries

City officials say there were no serious injuries after Tuesday night’s tornado tore through several residential and commercial buildings in Portage, Mich.

In a 10 p.m. news release, Portage officials urged residents to continue sheltering in place and stay off roadways to allow access for first responders.

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Whitmer declared a state of emergency

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for several counties in southwest Michigan following the storm. Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch and Cass counties are included, according to a release from the governor’s office.

“My heart goes out to everyone in Southwest Michigan who was affected by the severe weather tonight,” said Governor Whitmer. “State and local emergency crews are on the ground and working together to help Michiganders. I have declared a state of emergency and activated our State Emergency Operations Center to ensure resources are expedited to the area. We will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate efforts overnight. All are working hard to keep Michiganders safe first. I also want to thank those who responded and we will get through this together.”

A second tornado was confirmed in Portage, west of Battle Creek

An hour after a major tornado destroyed Portage, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, south of Kalamazoo, reported a second tornado touched down near Portage at about 7:20 p.m.

At 7:43 p.m., a separate tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service west of Battle Creek near Galesburg, moving northeast at 40 mph. A severe thunderstorm warning, including quarter-sized hail and 60 mph winds, is in effect for parts of Calhoun County until 9 p.m.

FedEx facility collapsed; Many buildings were damaged after the Portage tornado

After the first tornado in Portage, several buildings were significantly damaged, including the FedEx facility.

Jude’s Barber Shop in Portage on Center Road also posted damage to its Plaza building: “The tornado hit our barber shop in Portage on Center Road. Fortunately, everyone is safe.”

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Drone footage taken in Portage shows the extent of the damage caused by the tornado.

WBND-TV (South Bend, Indiana) Portage Mayor Particia Randall said, “Two tornadoes hit Portage this evening causing extensive damage to residential and commercial property. … No injuries or fatalities have been reported at this time.”

As of 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, more than 25,000 Consumer Energy and 2,700 Midwest Energy & Communications customers were without power.

St. Joseph County confirms the damage

St. Joseph County Undersheriff Jason Bingaman confirms Several locations were damaged in southwest Michigan counties Tuesday evening.

“Right now, we are focusing on life-saving operations using all available resources, and then we will begin preliminary damage assessments,” Bingaman said.

This is a growing story.

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