Governor Gretchen Whitmer Of Michigan Announces A State Of Emergency Due To Tornado

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Due to the tornadoes that struck the region on Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has issued a state of emergency in some portions of the state.

“I’ve declared a state of emergency for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch, and Cass counties after a severe storm system,” Whitner shared on X. “We will work with emergency teams overnight to monitor the situation and coordinate resources for those affected. Michigan is strong and together we will rebuild.”

As severe weather affected the area on Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued the first tornado emergency for Michigan ever.

Tuesday night, there were several tornado warnings in effect for southeast Michigan. Union City was declared under a tornado emergency, the first such declaration for the state since 1999.

At 6:11 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a warning about a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” over Union City.

After two tornadoes passed through the area, the mayor of Portage, Michigan, which is close to Kalamazoo, stated that her city had “extensive damage to both residential and commercial properties”. Tuesday night, she added, there was no power in the region because of fallen trees and wires that were impeding restoration.

Images from a FedEx facility in Portage revealed significant damage. At least fifty people were inside the heavily damaged industrial site, according to officials. Authorities said there were no reports of significant injuries, and a FedEx representative verified late on Tuesday night that every crew member was “safe and accounted for.”

According to Kalamazoo officials, the storm caused “extensive damage” to the Pavilion Estates mobile home park.

Whitmer cautioned residents to heed weather alerts earlier on Tuesday night.

“My heart goes out to all those affected by tonight’s severe weather in southwest Michigan. Emergency teams are on the ground and working to assist Michiganders. I encourage everyone to continue monitoring severe weather alerts and follow the advice of emergency officials,” she said in a statement on X.

The Ohio Valley and a portion of the southern Great Lakes were under threat from tornadoes on Tuesday afternoon and evening, following the reporting of over a dozen tornadoes across the Plains overnight and into Tuesday. In the storm zone, which stretches from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee, are over 35 million Americans.

Parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky were under a tornado watch through Tuesday night. There could be a few tornadoes, severe gusts of up to 70 mph, and hail the size of baseballs.

Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky has advised citizens to get ready for the severe weather that is predicted to affect a large portion of the state over the next few days. This weather includes “potentially significant tornadoes,” flooding, hail, and strong winds.

“We have been through all of those and we have seen how deadly they can be,” Beshear said during a press briefing Tuesday. “So we need everyone to take action now by making a plan to keep yourself and your family safe.”

At least 20 tornadoes were reported in seven states overnight into Tuesday, when the most recent threat of tornadoes emerged.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee all reported seeing twisters.

North of Tulsa, in Oklahoma, Barnsdall and Bartlesville were among the storm’s hardest-hit locations. During Tuesday’s tornado assessment, the Tulsa National Weather Service discovered low-end EF4 damage close to Barnsdall.

Barnsdall Mayor Johnny Kelley said that the tornado caused “significant damage” to the town, which resulted in one fatality and other injuries.

“We really need a lot of prayers,” Kelley stated to the media after the disaster.

According to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, between 60 and 70 homes in the little community were “totally destroyed,” out of about 350 total homes damaged throughout the state.

After a preliminary search, Kelley estimated that about twenty-five persons were saved. According to him, there is still one unaccounted-for person as of Tuesday, when more searching began.

Minutes before the tornado hit, Stitt said, the missing guy was on the phone with his son in his trailer home. According to him, K-9 police units are taking part in the hunt.

During a news meeting on Tuesday night, Stitt said, “We’re just praying a miracle happens.”

Due to the extreme weather, Stitt has declared a state of emergency for a number of the state’s counties.

It was the second damaging tornado to strike Barnsdall in a few weeks.

“It’s a devastating blow to the people in the community,” Kelley said. “It’s going to be life-changing.”

The highest-possible severe weather risk advisory was issued by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, for many strong, long-track tornadoes on Monday afternoon and evening.

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