A suspected tornado caused chaos on Interstate 96 in southern Michigan, flipping several cars on Thursday night. The severe thunderstorm brought heavy rains, strong winds, and widespread power outages across the southern portions of the state. The damage occurred in Ingham County, prompting officials to urge residents to seek shelter indoors while emergency crews worked to clear downed trees and power lines. More than 340,000 people were left without power, a number expected to rise as the storms continued to roll through the area.
In the same area, a large and “extremely dangerous” tornado was confirmed near the cities of Williamston and Fowlerville. The National Weather Service Offices in Detroit and Grand Rapids reported that the tornado hit at around 9:30 p.m. ET. Although the tornado warning was canceled at 9:51 p.m., the region still faces the possibility of tornado-inducing storms. The severe thunderstorm watch remained in effect for southern Michigan until 1 a.m. ET, with the storms expected to extend into northern Ohio.
These storms followed a previous round of heavy rainfall in southern Michigan and northern Ohio. Belleville, Michigan received 7.36 inches of rain, while Danbury, Ohio received nearly 8 inches of rainfall. The current storms brought threats such as wind gusts of up to 85 mph, hail up to 2 inches in diameter, and possible tornadoes. An Eaton County report already recorded a powerful gust of 70 mph.