The Cedar Springs Post took a direct hit when winds blown in by a fierce spring-turned-winter storm ripped through our area last Saturday.
Owner and Publisher Lois Allen received several calls at her home about it. “The Post is under attack!” said one caller. And indeed, the Post was in the path of destruction as the high winds lifted the roof of Len Allington’s brick building on the corner of Main and Maple Streets and sent it airborne across the alley between the buildings. It landed on top of the Post, wrapped around a utility pole and entangled in electrical wires.
Consumer’s Energy cut the wires on Sunday and left the scene, leaving three businesses and several apartments without power until Tuesday afternoon.
“The more you depend on technology, the more helpless you become when it fails,” said Allen. “You can quote me on that.”
What many people thought was a tornado turned out to be straight line winds. The first storm rolled into our area at about 4:30 p.m. and was followed by several others throughout the night. The National Weather Service said damage across West Michigan was consistent with winds gusting 75 to 85 mph, and lasted 3-5 minutes. The winds were equivalent to an EF-0 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
The winds blew in, and hail rained down, damaging cars, mobile homes, and other outside objects. The size ranged from a dime to a quarter. Some mobile homes were pelted with hundreds of holes. It covered the ground to a depth that looked like snow.
Trees were ripped out of the ground or broken all across the area—Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Kent City, and surrounding townships. The wind even blew the roof off of the gymnasium at Kent City.
In the aftermath of the storm, rivers and creeks were swollen and many areas are still under a flood watch.
Thanks to the many readers who sent us your storm photos!