Gov. Whitmer declares state of emergency in SW Michigan after tornadoes, storms

Damage reported in Portage
Posted at 10:38 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 12:08:04-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for parts of Southwest Michigan after severe storms rolled through Tuesday and left behind significant damage.

Multiple tornadoes were reported. The city of Portage was one of the hardest hit areas.

Damage reported in Portage

Rescue teams rushed to a mobile home park where homes were torn apart.

The severe storms also ripped through a FedEx building, trapping about 50 people inside. Kalamazoo County Emergency Management said wires were on the building, making it hard to get people out. A FedEx spokesperson said all employees are safe and accounted for.

Portage FedEx Damage

Other neighborhoods sustained damage with trees smashing into homes and cars. It was unclear Tuesday night if any injuries were reported.

The state of emergency is for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch and Cass counties, the governor said.

Video below shows damage in Portage:

Tornado damage in Portage

"I’ve declared a state of emergency for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch, and Cass counties after a severe storm system. We will work with emergency teams overnight to monitor the situation and coordinate resources for those affected. Michigan is strong and together we will rebuild," Whitmer said in a statement on X.

Storm Damage Kalamazoo County

The declaration will help expedite the resources needed to assess and clean up damage.