Portland is 'unsecure' after high winds cause buildings to collapse – MLive.com
PORTLAND, MI – Authorities are urging people who don’t live in Portland to stay away from the city while they assess damage caused by a severe thunderstorm that rolled through Monday afternoon.
The city is considered “unsecure” after high winds that began about 2:30 p.m. caused several buildings to collapse, Portland Area Fire Authority Chief John Baker said. Trees have fallen onto homes and power lines are down along a narrow swath in Portland and slightly west of the city. Numerous gas leaks and one fire was reported.
The National Weather Service has not yet confirmed whether a tornado touched down.
Baker said there were no major injuries or fatalities and no one has required hospital attention.
A mother and two young children were trapped in Goodwill, located in the 1300 block of East Grand River Avenue, which was the first reported building to collapse, Portland Police Chief Jim Knobelsdorf said.
Knobelsdorf and an off-duty firefighter helped the family to safety.
Two others were trapped in the Rite Aid across the street, but they were also rescued from the building by 4:30 p.m.
Canines are performing secondary checks of damaged buildings to assure no one else is trapped inside.
“Once we get this area contained, we get the traffic under control, we’re going to start searching the outlying areas to make sure there’s no one else trapped in their homes,” Knobelsdorf said.
It was not immediately clear how many people are displaced.
Police have blocked off traffic leading into the city.
“You need to stay out of the area. This area, the entire city right now is unsecure. We’ve got structures that are not secure, we’ve got gas leaks, stay out of the area, please,” Baker said.