Seven Tornadoes Documented in Michigan Amid Severe Weather, Leading to Five Fatalities

by Ethan Kim
Michigan Severe Weather

A minimum of seven tornadoes have been confirmed to make landfall in Michigan amid severe weather conditions. These storms, fueled by intense winds, have resulted in five fatalities, extensive damage to infrastructure, and widespread power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of residents, according to authorities.

On Friday, the National Weather Service reported that an EF-2 tornado, with peak winds reaching up to 125 mph (201 km/h), struck Lansing, the state’s capital. The event occurred on Thursday night, resulting in one fatality and three additional injuries.

Spokesperson Jordan Gulkis of the Lansing Police Department conveyed that an 84-year-old woman perished when a tree collapsed onto her residence. Firefighting units managed to remove her from the wreckage, but she was later declared dead at a medical facility.

An EF-1 tornado was also confirmed, featuring wind speeds of 90 mph (145 km/h). It traversed from Ingham County to the adjacent Livingston County’s western perimeter on Thursday evening.

Further, four additional EF-1 tornadoes were identified in areas such as Belleville and Gibraltar in Wayne County, as well as South Rockwood and the vicinity of Newport in Monroe County.

An EF-0 tornado, relatively weaker with top wind speeds of 80 mph (128 km/h), was documented in Wayne County’s Canton Township, situated to the west of Detroit, according to meteorologist Sara Schultz. This particular tornado led to a tree falling onto a residence.

The National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids office reported that authorities would be conducting damage assessments for another suspected tornado in Kent County on Friday.

Accompanying these tornadoes were torrential rains and electrifying displays of lightning, affecting various communities in the southern part of Michigan.

In a tragic vehicular accident in western Michigan, the Kent County sheriff’s office reported the deaths of a 21-year-old woman and two young girls, aged 1 and 3. The collision occurred under rain-soaked conditions, involving two vehicles that met head-on.

Sgt. Eric Brunner informed WZZM-TV that one vehicle, which hydroplaned, was carrying four passengers. A 22-year-old male from Gowen, who was at the wheel, was severely injured. The driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries.

In Ingham County, where Lansing is situated, local authorities reported one confirmed fatality and multiple serious injuries as more than 25 vehicles sustained severe damage on Interstate 96. The cause behind the accidents remains under investigation.

In Southfield, a northern suburb of Detroit, resident Muqitu Berry reported that a fallen tree brought down power lines, leaving him and his neighbors without electricity.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans declared a state of emergency, prompted by significant power outages, flooding, fallen trees, and other storm-related damages in Michigan’s largest county, which encompasses Detroit.

In Macomb County, thousands of basements in Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores avoided flooding through an emergency bypass system, as stated by Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller.

More than half a million residents across Michigan and Ohio were without power as of Friday evening, per the Poweroutage.us website.

The extreme weather in Michigan followed another round of torrential rain on Wednesday, leading to over five inches of rain in southeastern regions, including Detroit.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared states of emergency in Wayne and Monroe Counties, thereby allocating state resources for rescue and recovery operations.

The severe weather pattern also extended east across Lake Erie, causing power outages and uprooting trees in northeastern Ohio, and even leading to a tornado in Cleveland.

While individual weather events cannot be directly attributed to climate change without thorough scientific analysis, a consensus exists that climate change intensifies the frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

This news article was contributed to by Big Big News reporters Rick Callahan and Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis, and Ed White in Detroit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Michigan Severe Weather

How many tornadoes have been confirmed in Michigan due to the recent severe weather?

A total of seven tornadoes have been confirmed in Michigan amid the recent severe weather conditions.

What is the extent of the fatalities caused by these severe weather conditions in Michigan?

Five fatalities have been reported as a result of the severe weather, including tornadoes and a vehicular accident during rain-soaked conditions.

What areas were most affected by these tornadoes?

The tornadoes affected several areas, including Lansing, the state’s capital, as well as regions in Wayne County and Monroe County. Ingham County and adjacent Livingston County were also impacted.

What were the wind speeds of the confirmed tornadoes?

The tornadoes varied in intensity with wind speeds ranging from 80 mph (EF-0) to 125 mph (EF-2).

Have there been widespread power outages due to the severe weather?

Yes, hundreds of thousands of residents across Michigan and Ohio were without power as of Friday evening.

What state-level actions have been taken in response to the severe weather?

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared states of emergency for Wayne and Monroe Counties, making state resources available for rescue and recovery operations.

Was vehicular traffic impacted by the severe weather?

Yes, more than 25 vehicles were severely damaged along Interstate 96 in Ingham County, and a fatal head-on collision occurred in Kent County during rain-soaked conditions.

Are authorities investigating the extent of the damages?

Yes, the National Weather Service and local authorities are conducting damage assessments in various affected regions, including a suspected tornado in Kent County.

Has there been any flooding in the affected areas?

Yes, torrential rains have led to flooding in various communities, and a state of emergency has been declared due to flooding in Michigan’s largest county, Wayne.

Is climate change considered a factor in the severity of these weather events?

While it is not possible to directly link a single weather event to climate change without extensive study, there is a scientific consensus that climate change contributes to more frequent and intense extreme weather events.

More about Michigan Severe Weather

  • National Weather Service Tornado Updates
  • Michigan Governor’s Office Press Release on State of Emergency
  • Poweroutage.us Current Outage Map
  • Wayne County Emergency Declaration Information
  • Kent County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report
  • Climate Change and Extreme Weather: A Scientific Consensus
  • Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Advisory
  • Peer-Reviewed Studies on Climate Change and Extreme Weather
  • Detroit News Coverage on Severe Weather Impact
  • NOAA’s Statement on Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

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GreenActivist August 26, 2023 - 5:56 am

Looks like climate change isnt just a myth huh. time to wake up people.

LocalResident August 26, 2023 - 7:10 am

Trees down everywhere in my area. My neighbor’s car got crushed. What a mess.

SkepticalSue August 26, 2023 - 11:16 am

Weather is unpredictable, it’s not all about climate change. sometimes things just happen.

RoadWarrior August 26, 2023 - 11:46 am

Interstate 96 was a disaster. Avoid it at all costs, folks.

TechGuy August 26, 2023 - 1:03 pm

poweroutage.us is a good source for outage info. Check it out if you’re affected.

Tracy_in_MI August 26, 2023 - 1:12 pm

So sad to hear about the fatalities 🙁 Are they setting up shelters for people who’ve lost their homes?

WeatherWatcherMike August 26, 2023 - 5:19 pm

Can’t believe how bad its gotten. When was the last time Michigan had this many tornadoes in a single day?

JohnDoe123 August 26, 2023 - 7:22 pm

Wow, 7 tornadoes? thats insane. Stay safe out there everyone!

MomofThree August 26, 2023 - 8:02 pm

I’m just grateful my kids are safe, but what about schools? Any info on when they’ll reopen?

ConcernedCitizen August 27, 2023 - 12:04 am

What’s the gov doing to help ppl? I’ve been without power for hours now. Need answers!


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