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Multiple tornado touchdowns in SW Michigan, extensive damage reported

Reports of large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain
Damage reported in Portage
Portage FedEx Damage
Damage in Portage
Storm Damage Kalamazoo County
Storm Damage Kalamazoo County
Funnel Cloud near Colon/Leonidas area
Posted at 7:59 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 08:30:07-04

PORTAGE, Mich. — There are multiple reports of damage in communities around southwest Michigan after tornado touchdowns Tuesday night.

Funnel Cloud near Colon/Leonidas area
A funnel cloud seen in the tornado warned storm Tuesday evening.

The City of Portage is one of the hardest hit areas. City officials believe two tornadoes touched down Tuesday night.

The most significant damage is bound by Centre Avenue, Oakland Drive, Schuring Road, and Westnedge Avenue.

Tornado reports also came in from St. Joseph and Calhoun counties. This tracked near the towns of Mendon, Leonadis, and Union City. A hail report from Union City was 4" in diameter!

Another area of rotation went through Coldwater in Branch county at a similar time of the Union City tornado report.


The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's office is providing a better look at the damage left behind. Early Wednesday morning they shared a video update on Facebook.

Sheriff Richard Fuller broke down the extreme damage reported at Pavilion Estates Mobile Home Park in Pavilion Township. He reported 176 homes with damage on the property. Around 15 to 17 are destroyed. 16 to 20 people are reported as hurt, but there have been no life-threatening injuries or deaths reported.

Despite the damage, he says it is a "huge success" that members of the community paid attention to weather alerts and services, and knew to find safety.


An emergency declaration has been made by Portage Mayor Patricia M. Randall to try get resources from the State of Michigan and federal government to assist with storm recovery.

Governor Whitmer declared a State of Emergency for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch, and Cass counties Tuesday night after the storms.

“My heart goes out to all those impacted by tonight’s severe weather in southwest Michigan,” Governor Whitmer said in a prepared statement. “State and local emergency teams are on the ground and working together to assist Michiganders. I’ve declared a state of emergency to ensure resources are expedited to the area and activated our State Emergency Operations Center. We will continue monitoring the situation and coordinating efforts overnight. I want to thank all the first responders working hard to keep Michiganders safe. We’ll get through this together.”


The American Red Cross has a shelter set up for residents who need a place to stay due to damage to their homes or power outages. A second shelter has now closed.

  • First Assembly of God, 5550 Oakland Drive, Portage

If you have questions or need assistance from the American Red Cross, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.


Portage city officials say there is damage to residential and commercial buildings throughout the community. Trees are down and there are reports of several gas leaks.

City officials say that there are no reports of serious injuries.

There are reports of damage to a FedEx facility at 6701 Portage Road in Portage. The west side of the building collapsed.

Storms rip off wall of FedEx facility in West Michigan

FedEx driver Steven arrived back to the facility moments after the storm rolled through the area.

"I've always seen funnel clouds, but I've actually never seen that kind of devastation from a tornado," Steven said. "I never really took tornadoes seriously as they were until I seen this today. So, take them seriously."

Portage FedEx Facility damaged
A FedEx facility was significantly damaged Tuesday evening in the tornado warned storm.

Our crew got off the highway on Centre Avenue in Portage. People were turning around, unable to get to their homes.

We caught up some residents of an apartment complex .

"Came back to get some stuff out of the apartment and leave. And the tornado sirens went off again. So the police that were there manning the intersection, they said, hey, get the cover because because it could be coming back, which to me is crazy to think that it hits like this, and then potentially comes back again," Sam Darc said.

"Wind just started picking up and swirling a little bit and it was over before you knew it but a lot of devastation that you see around here now,” Dustin and Sarah told FOX 17.

Aftermath of storm and tornado damage in Portage

There's significant damage to a strip mall in the area of Centre and Oakland and Portage.

An area Pizza Hut sustained extensive damage and six employees narrowly escaped danger, including Nate Davis, a 10 year Pizza Hut employee.

"Everything was calm and then the lights started flickering and stuff. And then the power went out and came back on a bunch of times. The next thing I know, my cook is trying to hold the front doors shut. I had the strap on my keys and I was trying to tie it shut and then I just told everyone to get in the walk-in cooler as the ceiling started coming down on all of us. We were literally running through the halls like this (arms covering face) because ceiling tiles and insulation and frame pieces were all falling on me. It's the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced," Davis said.

Tornado damages strip mall in Portage

There are mobile homes severely damaged in Pavilion Estates in Pavilion Township. A FOX 17 crew talked with residents who described the storm sounded like a freight train.

Tornado damages homes in Pavillion Township

The Portage Department of Public Safety is advising people to avoid travel in the city. Residents are asked to check on their neighbors.

Storm Damage Kalamazoo County


There are power outages across southwest Michigan. Consumers Energy reported over 27,000 outages as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Consumers Energy estimates power should be restored by 10 p.m. Wednesday.


Portage Public Schools announced it is closed Wednesday to allow the community to start the recovery process.

Editor's Note: The article is updated to reflect the American Red Cross is operating the shelter. Another organization was listed earlier.