GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One year ago Thursday, strong winds rushed across the state with gusts topping 60 mph, causing widespread damage on an otherwise sunny day.
The wind of March 8, 2017, was caused by a strong area of low pressure rolling through, but wasn’t associated with any storms. The shear pressure difference as the system passed was enough to generate powerful gusts across our entire state.
The strong winds uprooted trees, damaged roofs, knocked out power to traffic lights, whipped up big waves on Lake Michigan and tipped over semi-trucks. One school in Barry County was evacuated when strong winds began blowing off part of the building’s roof. In Clarksville, the wind sheared the roof from and knocked down some of the walls of a building along Main Street.
More than 1,100 utility poles were snapped and more than 8,000 wires were downed across the state, Consumers Energy said in a release. As a result, about 1.1 million homes and businesses statewide lost power.