DEXTER, Mich. — A solitary hand stuck out of the rubble of a home destroyed when a tornado ripped through a Michigan village leaving more than 100 homes in splinters.
The first officer on the scene, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Yee, reached for the hand and pulled out an elderly man who was shaken but able to walk.
“That’s the best part,” Yee said. “Every place I went to, I would have thought I would have found somebody laying there — deceased or whatever. But, knock on wood, everybody was OK.”
Initial estimates indicate the tornado that hit Dexter, northwest of Ann Arbor, Thursday evening was packing winds of around 135 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Freitag said Friday. He said it was on the ground for about a half hour and plowed a path about 10 miles long.
The storm, which flooded roads and tossed trees, was part of a slow-moving system packing large hail, heavy rain and high winds. Gusts downed power lines, sparking fires.
Sheriff’s spokesman Derrick Jackson said 105 homes were significantly damaged in two neighborhoods of the hard-hit village and the surrounding area, and 13 were destroyed. Crews were assessing the damage.
There were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities, authorities said.
About two dozen homes in Sharon Carty’s Huron Farms neighborhood “are pretty much unlivable,” she said. “One house, the whole front of the house is gone. Folks whose houses were hit are pretty stunned. We don’t get too many tornados around here.”
She saw no evidence of any injuries.
Carty, 38, said she and her family heard the first weather siren around 5:15 p.m. and were in their basement when the tornado struck. Their house was untouched.
When they emerged, they didn’t see much damage at first and thought the storm had spared the area. But one look across the street revealed a different reality: a flattened self-serve carwash was among the damaged structures.
“It’s bad,” Davidson said. “The pizza shop’s bad. But the worst damage is to the carwash.”
Two blocks away, the twister didn’t touch down.View Entire Story
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