The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

State News

July 7, 2014

Severe storms damage homes in Michigan, Iowa

KENTWOOD, Mich. — A severe thunderstorm packing winds estimated at more than 80 mph injured several people and caused significant damage to homes in western Michigan, prompting flooding Monday, and storms that spawned tornadoes damaged some homes in Iowa.

A Michigan thunderstorm intensified late Sunday over Kentwood, just south of Grand Rapids. The National Weather Service said it's possible a tornado touched down briefly between 10:20 and 10:30 p.m. National Weather Service crews were surveying the area Monday to determine whether a tornado hit.

"They were pretty fast-moving storms," T.J. Turnage, a Grand Rapids-based weather service meteorologist, said Monday.

The weather service received reports that a couple of buildings had partially collapsed and that the storm downed numerous trees and power lines. Several recreational vehicles were knocked over at a dealer's lot. Residents of Leisure Acres condominium complex were among those displaced.

In Iowa, several tornadoes were reported and at least two homes were damaged after a line of severe storms passed through central Iowa. The same possible tornado tracked through both Grundy and Tama counties, the weather service said, with a separate storm hitting Jasper County.

In North Dakota, weekend storms caused heavy damage at a Missouri River recreation area south of Bismarck and injured people at a lake southwest of the city. Several tents, campers and vehicles were destroyed by strong winds and falling trees at Kimball Bottoms on Saturday night.

In Michigan, Jan Collins told The Grand Rapids Press that she heard the wind blow and then, an enormous boom as a tree toppled onto her family's garage.

"There was this rumbling sound, and it was raining especially hard, before the wind came out of nowhere," Collins said. "I think the car will be OK — the tree kind of just rested on top."

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