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18 Miles of Destruction from Confirmed EF-2 Tornado

Four Confirmed Tornadoes Touched Down On Thursday
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State of Emergency Declared
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Stories of Survival
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Photos

Posted by Corunna Now at 12:44pm 3/16/19

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Del Chapman

The National Weather Service now confirms that four tornadoes touched down on Thursday in Shiawassee and Genesee counties. Three of four were rated 0 on the Enhance Fujita (EF) Scale, called "weak," with winds topping out at 80-85 miles per hour.  The strongest, rated EF-2, or "Significant," with 125 mile-per-hour winds at its strongest, left an 18.2 mile path of damage.  Altogether, an impacted 60 structures and 12 destroyed, at latest count.  Photos shared by Tony Kendrick offer a perspective of life before and after:

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The tornado that devastated the Vernon area, labeled "Tornado 2" by the National Weather Service, first touched down northwest of Perry and traveled northeast past Morrice and Bancroft before strengthening to confirmed EF-2 status.  The path of confirmed EF-2 destruction began west of Durand on the west side of I-69 and continued in a northeasterly direction to directly strike Vernon before diminishing in strength.  However, the tornado continued to travel northeast, causing more damage until it lifted just before directly striking the village of Lennon.

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Tornado 1 touched down southwest of Corunna, just minutes after and just north of where Tornado 2 touched down, and traveled for nearly 6.5 miles uprooting trees and damaging at least one structure before lifting prior to striking the southern portion of the city of Corunna.

Tornado 3 touched down in Clayton Township on Nichols Road just south of M-21 and stayed on the ground for 8 miles.  Tornado 4 touched down just north of Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad and was on the ground for 6.5 miles.  All storms traveled in a generally northeasterly direction.

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Durand native and 103.9 The Fox afternoon host, Jeremy Fenech, took a drive through storm ravaged areas and assembled this video clip:

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Shiawassee County has declared a State of Emergency:

On March 14, 2019 the County of Shiawassee sustained widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property, caused by two tornadoes. As a result of this situation, the following conditions exist: Two tornadoes over an eight mile span created widespread damage impacting numerous houses and businesses displacing several families and creating an emergency within Shiawassee County. Numerous trees and downed power lines are creating a safety hazard. The Emergency Management Homeland Security Division of the Sheriff’s Office is exercising our Emergency Action Plan and has exhausted all resources within Shiawassee County. Therefore as Chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners in accordance with Section 10, 1976, PA 390 as amended, I hereby declare that a state of emergency exists within our jurisdiction; that the response and recovery elements of our emergency operation plans have been activated and that local resources are being utilized to the fullest possible extent.

The declaration was signed by Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeremy Root.

 Miraculously, there have been no reports of serious injury or death related to any of these storms, but there have been some incredible stories of survival, including an 86 year old woman whose home crumbled around her as she sat in her recliner.  She was unscathed.

A Hungry Howie's delivery driver took shelter in the basement of the home that she was delivering a pizza to, when the storm caught her off guard.

Among the images below, cows are seen being rescued from a collapsed barn at Cole Riverview Farms & Apple Dairy Inc.  Again, miraculously, no deaths.

Durand Cub Scout Pack 84 will collect items for families impacted by the Vernon storm at their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday March 17th from 12:30 to 3pm at the Durand VFW.

They're asking for bottled water, canned food and gift cards to local restaurants -- no cash or clothing.

Donations will be delivered to the command center at the Vernon Township Fire Hall.

State Representative Ben Frederick told Corunna Now just before noon on Saturday that he was at the command center and they are working on setting up centralized channels of communication to push out information so that we are able to distribute accurate and timely news updates to you, including information about how you can help those affected by the storms.  Stay tuned. 

More storm photos:

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Lead Mentor of Corunna Robotics "Team FridgeBot," Scott Stap, hosts a new Shiawassee Radio Series called "ShiaRobots," following the collaborative efforts of all Shiawassee County's robotics programs during the 2019 competitive season.
                     
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