Van Buren Co. left with significant damage after storm

Southwest Michigan

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Storms ripped through West Michigan Friday night, hitting some areas quite a bit harder than others.

Van Buren County was left many people without power and significant storm damage throughout the area.

And although there hasn’t been any official designation from the National Weather Service, locals believe a tornado may have been responsible.

Damage after a storm ripped through Lawrence Township in Van Buren County. (June 27, 2020)
Damage after a storm ripped through Lawrence Township in Van Buren County. (June 27, 2020)

“We’re looking at some of the damage, whether it was sheared off or whether it was twisted,” said Michael Anchor, Lawrence Township fire chief. “It was pretty crazy. It was high winds, heavy rain, came out of the middle of nowhere.”

It was a storm that left hundreds of trees mangled, and dozens of power lines snapped.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” Anchor said. “But when it does, it seems like every community seems to get hit like this probably on a 10-or12-year span, it seems like we each get this.”

He says the storm tore through, bringing wind gusts of over 70 miles per hour to the village.

“When that pole broke, the fire went probably about 20-30 feet in the air,” said Bill DeLoach, who has lived in Lawrence since 1960. “The fire, sparks — it was bad.”

And all the drama was short-lived, with those in the area saying the strongest winds lasted around 15 minutes.

“It looked like a cyclone went through here,” he said. “I mean everything, you could hardly see nothing because all these trees were gone. It was a mess.”

It’s a recovery that will likely span the weekend, but still have the village counting its blessings with zero reported injuries.

“Hopefully tonight, we’ll see our community open back up,” Anchor said. “Start to see our city water system back, sewer system back, and I think by dark tonight, we’ll see some significant improvement.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links