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Tag Archive | "National Weather Service"

Tornado hits south of Grand Rapids


Photo from WOODTV.com

Photo from WOODTV.com

By Judy Reed

 

Photo from WOODTV.com

Photo from WOODTV.com

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that the damage done just south of Grand Rapids during thunderstorms on Sunday evening, July 6, was due to a tornado.

Calls began pouring into Kent County’s 911 dispatch about 10:30 p.m. reporting roofs caved in, power lines and trees down, and people trapped in homes and vehicles.

The tornado reportedly developed near 64th Street and Burlingame in Byron Center about 10:20 p.m, and traveled 6.25 miles, through Wyoming and Kentwood, ending at 28th Street and Breton. It was on the ground for about 10 minutes and produced significant damage. The NWS rated the tornado an EF-1, with maximum wind speeds from 100-110 mph. Its width was 300 to 400 yards wide. There were six injuries, and no fatalities. It was the first EF-1 in Kent County since 2001, and the first tornado since 2006, when an EF-0 hit Caledonia.

Daniel Cobb, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said it was definitely a tornado, and not straight-line winds, explaining during a news conference that the debris they surveyed had the classic signature of a tornado.

People have questioned why there was no warning with the tornado. Cobb explained that the tornado developed near the ground and grew upward. And, because of the time delay between radar scans, they didn’t realize it was there until they picked up the debris on radar that lifted in Kentwood. It was already lifting back up moments later, too late for a warning.

“They always want to get it right, and it kills them if it doesn’t play out right,” he explained. “If they warned on every scan that looked like a possible tornado, they would be warning all the time. We prefer to wait for two scans. We are trying to say with severe thunderstorms that a tornado is possible, and warn on the big tornadoes.”

“We are very successful at detecting big tornadoes that blow your house down,” he noted.

He also noted that these smaller tornadoes are not rare, but not frequent either. Here it just happened in a populated area. “You have to respect Mother Nature. Always be inside during a storm,” he urged.

On Wednesday, July 9, the NWS also confirmed another tornado that spawned from the storms that moved through Sunday evening and Monday morning, July 6-7. This one was an EF-0 in Ionia County, and developed about 12:16 a.m., July 7, just a couple of hours after the one near Grand Rapids. It started just east of Sunfield Highway, and south of Reeder Road. It went about one mile, ending just west of South Keefer highway, north of Reeder Road. It lasted about 4 minutes. One home lost roofing material and five farm buildings were damaged along Reeder Road. Tree and crop damage also occurred along the path of the tornado.

 

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Year in Review: Winter storm blasts area


Digging out was a common sight all across the area Friday, February 8. Post photo by J. Reed.

Digging out was a common sight all across the area Friday, February 8. Post photo by J. Reed.

Other than the flooding that hit the area, one of the biggest weather-related stories was when the first real snowstorm of the season hit us with 12-15 inches of heavy, wet snow February 7 and 8.

According to the National Weather Service, in some places it came down at a rate of two inches per hour.

People tried to dig out of the mess, but even if people got out of their driveway, they may not have been able to get down the road, since many roads were not plowed. Schools all across the area were canceled.

 

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Storm brings down tree, powerline


A storm that blew through the city of Cedar Springs Monday evening weakened just before it got here but was still strong enough to topple a tree and snap a telephone pole.

The storm came through between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Tuesday, June18. It was originally issued as a severe weather warning, with high wind gusts and marble size hail that could dent cars. Just before it hit the National Weather Service downgraded it and cancelled the warning, but that was little comfort to Wayne and June Price and others on Ronald Street in Cedar Springs who lost power.

Wayne sent us these pictures, and explained that “It poured, the wind blew, and toppled the neighbor’s tree into the road in front of our house, snapping our power pole at the end of our driveway. The top of the pole leaned over the road breaking our power lines to the house.” Consumers Power spent the night repairing the damage, and power was restored about 5 a.m.

 

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Inclement weather


The safety of our students is our number one priority.  In the event of inclement weather, Cedar Springs Public Schools will follow the National Weather Service warnings and watches to determine both current and likely future conditions.
Occasionally adverse weather conditions or other emergency situations may make it necessary to cancel school, delay the start of school, or send students home early.  When these situations occur, notice will be communicated to WOOD TV 8, WZZM Channel 13, and WXMI TV 17 through the Grand Rapids Area Information Line (GRAIL).
In a 2-hour delay students will be picked up by the bus approximately 2 hours later than their routine pick-up time. Morning ECSE and Preschool classes will be cancelled. With a 2-hour delay in effect, parents, students and staff should monitor the announcements in the event of the delay changing to a cancellation.  The buses will not transport students to the first session at the Kent ISD Skill Center when a school delay or cancellation is issued.

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Storms hit area hard


Mindy Abbott sent us this photo of the second storm coming in on Monday morning, July 11. It was taken from the Goodwill parking lot off 17 Mile Road and Edgerton.

The storms that blew into West Michigan about 8:00 a.m. Monday, July 11, caused at least one fatality, and left several areas with heavy property damage.

The National Weather Service, in Grand Rapids, said that their storm survey team confirmed straight line wind damage in Kentwood, Holland, and Portage. In Kentwood, there were maximum wind speeds of 85-90 mph, about the same magnitude as en EF-0 or low EF-1 tornado. The winds uprooted and snapped numerous large trees, several homes were damaged, and many power lines were brought down by fallen trees. A man was killed in Kentwood when a tree fell on the garage he was in at the time.

Cedar Springs and the surrounding area had some damage, including a tree down on 16 Mile and the White Pine Trail that brought down a power line. Power was out in several pockets across the area.

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DIGGING OUT—BLIZZARD 2011


Local meteorologists got this one right.

Snowblowing and shoveling was a common sight Wednesday morning after the blizzard the night before. Here Tyler Felty snowblows a path from the driveway to the front door of a home. Photo by J. Reed.

Over 1,000 schools, businesses, and other agencies were closed Wednesday after much of southern lower and central Michigan was paralyzed by the biggest snowstorm we’ve received in several years.
snow mapThe blizzard began Tuesday afternoon and continued into Wednesday morning, with heavy snow, winds, and blowing and drifting that made most secondary roads impassable. Driveways were covered, and four to five foot drifts could be seen up against area homes. WOOD-TV reported that we received 17 inches of snow in the Cedar Springs area, and the National Weather Service unofficial map showed about 14 inches. The City of Cedar Springs did a good job plowing city streets, and most were fairly clear Wednesday morning.
Do you have storm pictures? Send them to us at news@cedarspringspost.com, or upload them to our Facebook page, with a brief explanation, and we’ll post them on our website.

Wait—where’s the driveway? The driveway to Cedar Springs High School disappeared under a heavy blanket of snow. Post photo by J. Reed.

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