Fire officials: 50 homes badly damaged by tornado in Dexter neighborhood

Officials survey damage on Horseshoe Bend Road in Dexter day after tornado

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DEXTER, Mich. - Dexter fire officials said Friday morning that they intend to visit Horseshoe Bend Road to survey damage from a tornado that touched down there about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fire officials now say 50 homes were badly damaged in the storm in this one neighborhood.

Overnight, Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputies kept people away from the area, saying the road was open to residents and emergency personnel only.

Now the area is busy with work crews clearing downed trees and insurance adjusters looking at damage.

Fire crews are going house to house looking for possible structural damage to the homes hit.

Officials say homes on Flemming Road, Hidden Lake Circle and homes across the street on Dexter-Pinckney Road were damaged by all the debris flying through the air.

Large pine trees have been ripped up and tossed, boards from shattered homes came raining down like spikes, landing in yards and sticking into rooftops.

Larry Brennan is amazed this morning that no one was killed.

He saw the tornado coming across Horseshoe Bend right toward his home across the street. Brennan ran inside to take cover. This morning, his roof has several holes in it after debris crashed into it.

Marie Keller is in tears this morning. Her home suffered severe damage as the tornado went right over their home. Keller's husband and daughter ran to an interior bathroom and got into the bathtub. The bathroom has a skylight and they watched the tornado literally twist right over their house, firing debris in all directions.

Keller has lived at the home for 17 years. A shed that was in the backyard is now in the living room. Dozens of massive trees are down on her property and as the dawn slowly begins to break through the dense fog, she says she doesn't know where to start the clean up. After a cup of coffee the cleanup will begin.

Keller got very emotional talking about the number of calls she's getting from people wanting to help her start the rebuilding process.

Her neighbor's house is a total loss.

"You don't know where to begin, but you just begin. We can't put our lives on hold," she said.

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