Record-high temps, tornadoes, storms: Michigan experiences roller-coaster weather

Temperatures dropped over 50 degrees in the course of 24 hours
berkley storm damage
Posted at 10:39 PM, Feb 28, 2024

BERKLEY, Mich. (WXYZ) — It has been a roller-coaster ride of weather over the last 24 hours in Michigan, from temperatures in the 70s Tuesday to confirmed tornadoes in Genesee and Calhoun counties early Wednesday.

Strong winds caused downed power lines, downed trees and a fire in Berkley.

berkley storm damage
Storm damage in Berkley. (Feb. 28, 2024)

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down in Grand Blanc Wednesday and an EF-1 touched down in Marengo Township. No injuries have been reported, but the damage is extensive.

It all began with unusually warm weather Tuesday. At 3 p.m. Detroit, Flint and Saginaw all hit 73 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, that is the record-high temperature for the month of February at all three cities.

However, those temperatures brought severe weather into metro Detroit and a sharp temperature drop the next day.

Downed tree and power lines in Berkley

Strong winds Wednesday also caused a tree near 12 Mile Road and Coolidge Highhway in Berkley to uproot and fall onto Geoffrey Polk’s front yard just after 3 p.m.

“Well, my cute mailbox is no longer quite as cute but other than that, we’re good," Polk said. "These things happen.”

berkley storm damage
A tree takes down a utility pole after a storm in Berkley. (Feb. 28, 2024)

The tree took down a utility pole with it, causing power outages on Kipling Avenue near Wiltshire Road. Berkley fire and police and DTE Energy were all on scene.

The Berkley Department of Public Safety says preliminary information indicates the downed power lines also caused a nearby garage fire at the home of a 93-year-old man. His daughter Diana Keefe, who lives down the street, says her father was not home at the time of the incident.

“I think he would be very upset, so I’m really glad he’s not here. His garage is his life’s work — his tools, all the things," Keefe said.

berkley storm damage
A fire after a storm left damage in Berkley. (Feb. 28, 2024)

Neighbors say they heard a loud rumble as the tree came down and observed as a car being driven by a woman was nearly crushed by the impact.

“She knew to put (the car) in reverse," neighbor Lisa Riley said. "As she did, the tree fell right in front of her.”

While this community is shaken up by the fluctuation of weather, they say it's part of the charm of this state.

"I love Michigan," Riley said.

The Berkley Department of Public Safety is continuing to investigate the Wednesday incident, but no injuries have been reported.