Storm strips roof off Grand Rapids business


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Strong storms ripped the roof off a Grand Rapids business Thursday afternoon.

Around 1:30 p.m., firefighters were called to Standard Supply & Lumber Company, located at 1535 Kalamazoo Ave. SE. When crews arrived, they found a roof to a lumber storage facility had been ripped off. Large debris damaged vehicles parked below.

Xzavier Wolgamuth said he was working outside when the winds picked up and started blowing apart the storage buildings.

“It just got dark, starting pouring and I saw blue lighting strike to the left of me, and then went and took off, took off the roof,” he said. “Very strong winds. It took off that roof like it was a piece of paper. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Surveillance video from the area shows heavy rain, strong winds and a flash of light. Witnesses say lightning hit a transformer. Two power poles came down, one of which was split and its lower half missing.

There was storm damage elsewhere in West Michigan after a line of storms moved through the region. In Allegan County, a “gustnado” caused damage. Additionally, thousands of homes and businesses were without power.

There were no reports of injuries.

Cleanup at the lumber store was expected to be finished by Friday.

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