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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2014

About 241,000 lose power in Michigan thunderstorms


VICKSBURG, Mich. — Trees lay toppled today across parts of Michigan by severe early summer thunderstorms that also knocked out power to about 241,000 homes and businesses.

Storm debris damaged property and blocked some streets in western Michigan, while heavy rains flooded roads in some places. Widespread tree damage was reported in Calhoun County, and a falling tree struck a firefighter who was helping others.

A large maple tree also fell onto Darcy Osborn’s home in the Kalamazoo County village of Vicksburg, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.

“We were yelling, ‘Maya, Maya!‘ as plaster was falling down around her head,” Osborn said of her 12-year-old daughter, who slept through the storm unharmed.

A pine tree was nearly uprooted in Brock Goff’s front yard. A dying tree split and fell.

“I was just hoping the house wasn’t coming down. It felt like the house was moving,” Goff told the newspaper. “That wind was really whipping.”

Electricity to his home and much of the village also went out.

The number of users still without service stood at about 168,000 late Tuesday as restoration efforts continued, utilities said.

DTE Energy Co. said about 140,000 of its customers lost power, and about 58,000 were still out at 9 p.m. Tuesday. CMS Energy Corp said about 47,000 of the 70,000 affected customers were offline. And Indiana Michigan Power said about 31,000 of its 37,000 affected Michigan customers were offline Tuesday night.

In Calhoun County’s Emmett Township, a firefighter was in stable condition after a falling tree struck him in the shoulder and back, Public Safety Lt. Tony Geigle told WOOD-TV.

More than 50 trees were knocked down on Bill Tyler’s property in Jackson County’s Parma, leaving two large holes in the roof of his home and smashing a parked SUV.

“You always hear that a tornado sounds like a train — and I heard this train getting closer and closer, and I said we better move,” Tyler told MLive.com.

A tornado warning for part of Calhoun County was issued around 2 a.m. and canceled shortly afterward.

The National Weather Service issued a hazard advisory through this evening for some beaches along Lake Michigan, MLive.com reported.

Strong currents, dangerous swimming conditions and waves up to 5 feet high were expected.

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