The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado injured several people and caused significant damage to homes in western Michigan.
Brian Meade, a meteorologist in Grand Rapids, says a survey of storm damage on Monday led to the determination about the damage in nearby Kentwood. He says winds late Sunday were estimated at more than 80 mph.
The tornado appears to have touched down between 10:20 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Monday. National Weather Service determined it was a high-end EF1 tornado.
The weather service received reports that a couple of buildings had partially collapsed and that the storm downed numerous trees and power lines.
Jan Collins told The Grand Rapids Press that she heard the wind blow and then, an enormous boom as a tree toppled onto her family's garage.
"There was this rumbling sound, and it was raining especially hard, before the wind came out of nowhere," Collins said. "I think the car will be OK — the tree kind of just rested on top."
Kent County emergency management coordinator Jack Stewart told WOOD-TV that six people were injured, but that the severity of their injuries was unknown. The weather service said two people were taken to the hospital.
A roof collapsed at Pizzazz Banquet Center, but no one attending a party inside was seriously injured, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
Flash flood warnings were in effect Monday for a number of western and central Michigan counties as more storms moved through the state. The Weather Service had received reports of flooding in Alma, in Gratiot County, with 6-8 inches of standing water reported in one spot.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Kentwood Community Center for those without power or otherwise displaced from their homes.
CMS Energy Corp.'s Consumers Energy unit said Monday morning that roughly 20,000 of its customers lost power. About 9,600 of those homes and businesses are in Kent County, including Kentwood. The utility said it could be late Tuesday before power is fully restored.