Tornado touchdown confirmed in Portland, NWS says – MLive.com
PORTLAND, MI — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down Monday afternoon in Portland, leaving uprooted trees, damaged homes and collapsed buildings.
Jim Maczko, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, said initial information indicates the June 22 tornado was an EF-1 with winds of about 100 mph. Crews are continuing to survey the area.
The tornado touched down a couple of miles northwest of Portland about 2:30 p.m. and was on the ground for about 10 minutes, Maczko said. The tornado lifted up near Rite Aid in the 1300 block of East Grand River Avenue, where the damage appears to end.
The tornado likely was about 50 yards wide, Maczko said.
A tornado warning was not issued because the tornado popped up quickly and didn’t appear on the radar until it had moved past the city. NWS officials expected West Michigan to experience severe weather Monday with the possibility of isolated tornadoes during storms. Emergency management services were briefed about the expected severe weather.
“We were looking at today as a pretty significant severe weather day for us,” Maczko said. “This is one of those cases where it spun up so quickly and disappeared so quickly.”
The type of brief and weak tornado that touched down in Portland is common for the state, he said.
“These smaller, weaker tornadoes that tend to do a lot of damage but don’t necessarily destroy homes like we see out in Oklahoma or Alabama, those are the types we see a lot here in Michigan. Unfortunately, those are the most impossible for us to predict ahead of time,” Maczko said.
The majority of damage is structural, with roofing materials and tops of outbuildings torn off, Maczko said.
All of the injuries reported during Monday’s storm were minor.
Police and firefighters helped five people who were trapped in Goodwill and Rite Aid on East Grand River Avenue. They were not injured.