Tornado leaves six mile swath of destruction in Kent Co.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in Kent County Sunday night.

The twister, rated a high-end EF1, with winds 100-110 miles per hour, struck at 10:20 p.m. near 64th Street and Burlingame Ave. SW. It was on the ground for 10 minutes and 6.25 miles and was 900-1,200 feet at its widest, according to the NWS. It lifted around 10:30 p.m. near the area of Breton Road and 28th Street SE.

There was no watch or warning posted at the time and tornado sirens did not sound. Affected areas included Byron Center, Wyoming, Kentwood, and Grand Rapids.

Aerial footage shows the tornado ripped roofs off approximately 50 houses, garages, and businesses, uprooted large trees, and scattered debris throughout the area. Tens of thousands of customers are without power and it could be days before it's restored because of snapped power poles.

The tornado peeled off the roof off a strip mall at 44th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. Police say a group was cleaning up after an event in a banquet hall; they were rescued and no one was injured in that building.

At Leisure Acres, two four-stall garages were destroyed and three roofs were partially ripped off. Uprooted trees also littered the area. The tornado knocked over recreational vehicles at Midway RV Center on South Division Avenue near 54th Street and forced Ideal Park to close for tree cleanup.

At least two people were injured and taken to local hospitals with minor injuries. There were no deaths.

Police are advising people to stay away from areas where emergency workers or utility crews are present because there may be live power lines down. Residents in the affected areas are encouraged to check on their neighbors to ensure everyone is safe.

Mayor Kepley says 54 people sought emergency shelter overnight at the Kentwood Parks and Recreation building on 48th Street and at an American Red Cross shelter. In Wyoming, the Salvation Army has opened a temporary shelter at Ideal Park Christian Reformed Church at 320 56th Street SW. The American Red Cross is hosting a second shelter at the Kentwood Activity Center at 355 48th Street SE.

Starting at 2 p.m. Monday, community members with proof of residency can drop off tree limbs and yard debris at Kelloggwoods Park. The park will remain open until 10 p.m. The city will not be accepting building debris.


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