Five years ago: Paths of six tornadoes in West Michigan

Weather News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Five years ago on Aug. 20, 2016, severe storms tore across West Michigan, producing widespread damaging winds and spawning six tornadoes.

The first tornado touched down just after 1 p.m. near Bangor in Van Buren County. It traveled about 10.6 miles, eventually lifting back up in southern Allegan County. It was ruled an EF-1 tornado by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. The entire city of Bangor lost power and many structures were damaged along the path.

Another EF-1 tornado touched down southeast of Fennville in Allegan County. It was on the ground for about 10 miles before lifting northeast of Hamilton. Tree and structure damage was reported.

About half an hour later, another tornado was on the ground northwest of Burnips in Allegan County. The EF-1 tornado tracked into Ottawa County and ended southeast of Jamestown. The total path length was 4 miles. 

Two EF-0 tornadoes were reported in Kent County. The first touched down in Grandville and moved into Wyoming, tracking through the Wyoming middle school football field. The second spun up in northeast Grand Rapids and was only on the ground for about three quarters of a mile.

In addition to the tornado damage, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids identified several areas with straight-line wind damage. Winds were estimated to be as high as 100 mph in parts of southwestern Grand Rapids. Several trees were damaged or uprooted, resulting in power outages and damage to houses and cars. 

The final tornado of the day was on the ground between 3:10 p.m. and 3:25 p.m. in Ionia and Montcalm counties. It started east of Orleans and ended southeast of Sheridan and had a total path length of 8 miles. With maximum winds of 90 mph, it was ruled an EF-1 tornado. Damage to trees and houses was reported along the path.

The combination of tornadoes and straight-line winds led to over $4 million in damages, according to NWS Grand Rapids.

No injuries or deaths were reported. 

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