Nearly 50 homes in Kalamazoo County destroyed by heavy storms

PORTAGE (AP) — Nearly 50 homes were destroyed and dozens more were seriously damaged during severe weather last week in southwestern Michigan’s Kalamazoo County, authorities said Monday.

The lost homes included 24 mobile homes near Portage, the county’s emergency management office said in an update.

The National Weather Service confirmed four tornadoes in the region on May 7, including one in the Kalamazoo area, 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Detroit

Federal Emergency Management Agency crews were arriving Tuesday to assess damage in southwestern Michigan.

“This is a traumatic event and a stressful time for many, and allowing us to interrupt their personal recovery efforts to begin our collective recovery as a community is greatly appreciated,” said Mike Corfman, Kalamazoo County’s emergency director.

The weather service said the tornado was an EF-2, which means a wind gust of 111 mph to 135 mph.

“It was one mile an hour short of being” an EF-3, Corfman said.

He said 28 people were still staying at an area shelter.

“We’re trying to work out some longer-term sheltering for those people,” Corfman said. “Generally, the people that are there, their homes are gone. They just cannot go back, period.”


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