‘Huge noise’: Witnesses describe GR storm impact

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Residents living in the area hardest hit by damaging Wednesday evening storms say the storm’s intensity was strong but brief.

David Ferrier and his girlfriend Kate Masterson live on Fairview Avenue where winds from the storm tore the roof off an apartment building and caused significant damage to three other homes. 

The impacted stretch of Fairview Avenue is in the Belknap neighborhood situated north of I-196 across the highway from the Michigan Avenue Medical Mile.

“It was over in a matter of moments,” Ferrier told News 8 while surveying the damage after the storm had passed. “It was like…car accidents, explosions. It was this huge, just noise.”

Ferrier said the noise stopped almost as suddenly as it started.

“It came out of nowhere,” he said. “It hit and then 20 minutes later it was gone.”

Masterson said she was across the highway working at the Starbucks coffee shop on Michigan Street. She could hardly believe the damage when she returned to her neighborhood.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Masterson said. “I live here. I walked through here literally today on my way to work.”

Beyond the damaged to homes, debris from the storm littered Fairview Avenue. Large trees snapped in half and branches and leaves were scattered about.

Despite the damage in the neighborhood, Grand Rapids firefighters said there were no injuries. 

Fire crews went door to door and forced entry where necessary to ascertain that no one was injured in the damaged apartment building or the other damaged homes nearby.

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