The National Weather Service confirmed a pair of tornadoes touched down in Shiawassee County and two in Genesee County that damaged homes, barns, splintered trees, and downed power lines leaving thousands in the dark.
(TNS) — Efforts are underway to help residents in recovery mode after four tornadoes left behind a path of damage across two Michigan counties.
The National Weather Service confirmed a pair of tornadoes touched down in Shiawassee County and two in Genesee County that damaged homes, barns, splintered trees and downed power lines leaving thousands in the dark.
An informational meeting is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17 in the cafeteria at Durand High School, 9575 E. Monroe Drive, with emergency management and government officials to address items such as recovery efforts, resident/business resources for relief, and short/long-term housing needs.
Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole confirmed a local state of emergency has been declared after 61 homes were damaged — 20 deemed uninhabitable or destroyed — as well as 16 barns and two businesses by the tornadoes, including an EF-2 with winds up to 125 mph from Newburg Rd/Bancroft Rd to M-71 just to the southeast of Vernon.
“We’re waiting to see what happens on a state level,” he noted, going door-to-door to residents to inform them of the informational meeting. “Hoping they will do the same so we can get some help from the state for the people requiring resource and (for) the cleanup.
Volunteers are being sought to help work on clearing debris indoors and outdoors. Anyone available can register at the Durand Senior Center, 8618 Lansing Road. Those planning to work outside have been asked to dress with boots, gloves and warm clothes.
Tables will also be up for volunteer sign-up at the informational meeting. Those looking for volunteer opportunities may call 989-743-2631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 989-743-2635 to make donations or report damage.
The United Way of Genesee County, which serves Genesee and Shiawassee counties, is providing a $20,000 emergency assistance grant to the American Red Cross of Mid-Michigan and East Central Bay chapters for tornado relief efforts.
The grant will allow the American Red Cross “to assist with basic needs for those affected by the recent severe weather,” reads a United Way statement, adding “Individuals affected by the recent tornado should contact the Red Cross for assistance.”
The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down between 7:24 p.m. and 7:29 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at Stanley and Bray roads and lifted near the intersection of M-57 and Irish Road, reaching a peak wind speed of 80 miles per hour when it hit the Camelot Villas mobile home park, twisting one trailer around a tree and damaging 20 others.
An EF-0 tornado touched down at Nichols Rd just south of Corunna Road in Clayton Township before traveling east/northeast to Calkins Road just east of Morrish Road. The tornado lifted near Jennings Road just north of Pasadena Avenue.
Monetary donations are also being accepted by the United Way of Genesee County to aid families. No administrative fees will be taken from those designated funds.
Checks should be made out to United Way of Genesee County Tornado Relief Fund. Donations are also accepted online here.
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