news, tornado, updates

May 7 Tornadoes in West Michigan

Here is information on the impact of tornadoes that swept through parts of Michigan.

NWS Tornado Warning area map, May 7, 2024

May 8 Update from Michigan State Police and Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Some key facts:

  • Four counties have declared a disaster locally: Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Cass, Branch
  • The Governor declared a state disaster last night for the above counties. The declaration frees up state resources to help local authorities with clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
  • Currently 4 radar-confirmed tornadoes are being reported by GR NWS (two in Portage) – possibly more will be confirmed
  • Red Cross has two shelters up and running in Portage – 10 overnight clients used the shelter
  • Consumers Energy reports over 27000 outages with over 70 lines down. There are also reports of natural gas leaks
  • A trailer park in the Cass county area reports significant damage
  • The Dept of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will send out a press release this morning advising on best practices for debris removal
  • Three community water supplies are on back-up power – EGLE is asking Consumers Energy to prioritize those areas for restoration
  • MSP Aviation will be doing surveys this morning
  • The next update meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning, May 9


From news sources:

The Better Business Bureau is telling homeowners to beware of scammers when looking to hire help to clean up, especially anyone going door-to-door or on social media offering storm cleanup assistance. The BBB notes it has thunderstorm and tornado resources online.

Consumers Energy urges people to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines. If you see one, assume it is energized, call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800.477.5050.

Kalamazoo County Emergency Management has a damage self-reporting tool that allows users to mark points on a map if they have experienced damage to their homes from the storms on Tuesday, May 7th. This will speed up response and recovery as crews fan out at daylight today (May 8th) to assess damage and assign workers to clear debris and begin our recovery process. Here is the link: 


MI-VOAD assistance has been offered for debris removal, emotional/spiritual care, donations management, volunteer coordination, water distribution, clean-up kits, etc.

MI-VOAD advises interested volunteers not to self-deploy. The first job is to ensure that everyone (survivors, volunteers) are safe and secure.