GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued across West Michigan Saturday night, as storms rolled through the area. The storm left significant damage in its tracks.
Barry, Montcalm and Ionia Counties were under severe thunderstorm warnings until 11:15 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
The service had previously issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Muskegon and Ottawa counties that expired at 10:15 p.m., as well as Kent County, which expired at 10:45 p.m. The warning for southern Newaygo County lasted until 10:30 p.m.
The storm caused significant damage.
Large branches were reported down on Waverly Avenue between Chicago Drive and 8th Street, one mile northeast of Holland. Numerous trees were down near Allendale near Grand Valley State University. Major flooding was reported in the Muskegon area on Apple Avenue, and considerable damage just west of Grand Rapids on Lake Michigan Drive, according to the National Weather Service.
There are numerous trees down around Grand Rapids following severe storms this evening. Several stop lights are out north of downtown. It looks like power crews will have a busy night. pic.twitter.com/xG1gN6nsmo— Brennan Prill (@WxBrenn) July 24, 2022
There were large trees reported down in Walker, Grand Rapids Charter Township and an area near Bridge Street in downtown Grand Rapids.
Sixty mph wind gusts and penny size hail was possible with these storms.
Thousands of people lost power as storms rolled into the area, according to the Consumers Energy Outage map.
Watch transformers flash as severe storms pass right through downtown Grand Rapids. pic.twitter.com/nq1Lvkxmp9— Brennan Prill (@WxBrenn) July 24, 2022
LOOKING TO SUNDAY
Ongoing showers and thunderstorms will continue for much of the morning on Sunday. A few strong to severe storms are possible, but the main concern has shifted to flash flooding.
New rain amounts will likely be between 0.25″ and 0.5″ widespread. Locally higher amounts are possible based on thunderstorm development and track. Several cities across West Michigan have already seen 1″ or more of rain.
North of Grand Rapids, rain will begin to taper off in the early afternoon hours. Areas near and south of I-94 still hold a chance to see a strong storm or two during the afternoon and early evening. The area remains under a Marginal Risk (level 1 of 5) for severe weather.
HOW THE STORMS FORMED
The hot and humid conditions Saturday afternoon served as fuel for an active evening. Thunderstorms were expected in Wisconsin during the early evening Saturday and tracked across Lake Michigan. The main time for West Michigan to see storms were expected to be between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.
The Storm Prediction Center upgraded much of the area to an Enhanced Risk (level 3 of 5) for Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
The main threat with this system was damaging wind. Wind gusts may be over 75 mph at times. The Storm Prediction Center has West Michigan with a 30% chance of wind damage within 25 miles of a given point.
Additionally, there is a chance for 1″+ hail, heavy downpours, and even an isolated tornado.
As this looks to be primarily an overnight system, News 8 has many ways to get warnings. This may include a weather radio, television, and the Storm Team 8 weather app.