National Weather Service confirms EF-2 tornado hit Port Austin, Michigan on Saturday

Huron County’s last tornado was in 2015

The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that a tornado touched down in northern Huron County Saturday night.

PORT AUSTIN, Mich. – The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that a tornado touched down in Michigan’s northern Huron County on Saturday night.

The tornado impacted parts of Port Austin and produced up to EF-2 damage.

According to NWS, an EF -- or Enhanced Fujita -- scale is used to assign a rating to a tornado based on estimated wind speeds and related damage.

EF-2 produces winds up to 135 mph. The NWS said this tornado was 400 yards wide and had winds reaching 120 mph.

Authorities said the tornado touched down four miles southwest of Port Austin, near the intersection of Port Crescent and Sand roads, at about 5:49 p.m. The tornado began as an EF-0 and snapped branches, trees and caused damage to some buildings.

The NWS said when the tornado moved northeast and crossed M-53, where it produced EF-2 damage to six houses. Authorities said three roofs were completely detached, and two garages and a barn were completely destroyed.

The tornado continued to move northeast toward Hellems Road, where multiple trees were damaged or destroyed consistent with EF-1 damage. It then went in to Lake Huron.

The entire incident lasted about 11 minutes. The tornado’s path was 6.9 miles long, making the tornado travel at an average of about 37 mph.

“There was no warning and it was just like a freight train jet engine sound and then it just dropped,” said Scott Kasper. “It was here and gone within about five seconds.”

More than 2,300 people are without power and six people were injured.

The last tornado to hit Huron County was an EF-0 in 2015.

Data on the tornado that touched down in Huron County on June 26, 2021. (WDIV)

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Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.