WEST MICHIGAN -- Strong to severe thunderstorms tore through West Michigan Sunday afternoon and early evening. The line was thin and narrow, but that didn't mean they were weak. At least six severe thunderstorm warnings were issued across the area with a peak wind gust in South Haven measured at 64 mph. That was not the extent of the damage however.
For a few brief minutes, radar indicated rotation in east central Barry County and west central Eaton County. A tornado warning was issued and eventually confirmed in/around the Lacey area in Barry County. According to the National Weather Service and their damage survey, an EF-0 tornado with peak winds of 80 mph touched down about 6:25 P.M.. The path length was 1.3 miles with a maximum width of 50 yards. It was on the ground for three minutes and began on Barryville Road about a quarter mile south of Cloverdale Road. It ended on Marshall Road about a quarter mile south of Maple Grove Road. Three barns were damaged and a telephone pole was blown down. About a dozen trees were also snapped or uprooted along the path. See damage photos below from the National Weather Service.
More damage was reported in a cemetery in Edmore in Montcalm County. No watches/warnings/advisories were in effect at the time, but witnesses claim they heard a loud roar, something that looked like a dust cloud, and damage immediately followed. Below is an image from Jamie Brown posted on Facebook taken about 6:03 P.M. looking toward Edmore. You can clearly see the funnel (before it touched the ground) in the area.
The next photo below is from Doug Sowles clearly showing the lowering of the cloud base, funnel, and perhaps the tornado itself. We have also seen similar video of this event from the same vantage point...along with several witnesses that claim to have seen a tornado.
Several photos were posted on Facebook by Karmyn Valentine in the Edmore cemetery. See those impressive damage photos below...mainly some headstones toppled and several large trees broken or cracked in half.
The Grand Rapids National Weather Service is expected to conduct a damage survey on Monday morning in/around Edmore in an effort to determine weather this was straight line wind damage or tornado damage. We'll have more on our Monday newscasts once they determine the specifics. Our severe threat is over for the next few days...but may ramp up again later this week with more heat, moisture, and lift arriving as another low pressure system and cold front inch closer to the Great Lakes. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.