KENTWOOD, MI — Sunday evening's severe weather occurred with no advance notice, catching even officials off guard, said Jack Stewart, the Kent County emergency manager.Naturally the news story was about why the sirens didn't go off. (grin)
The storm created significant damage and lifted soon after radar images could detect the possibility of a tornado in Kentwood. At the time, the storm did not meet any of the three criteria necessary to sound the county's civil defense sirens, Stewart said.
Forecasters have determined a high-end EF-1 tornado touched down, blowing debris with winds upward to 110 mph. A tornado is classified as an EF-2 at 111 mph.
There have been only a few tornadoes here in West Michigan since we moved down here some 23 years ago. A nearly EF-2 is unusual. I believe the last local tornado was an EF-0. It looks to me like the Great Lakes ameliorate this being the eastern edge of Tornado Alley.