DEXTER, Mich. — Several houses were damaged and at least two destroyed in one southeastern Michigan community after a tornado touched down Thursday afternoon.
The tornado was part of a heavy storm system of rain, hail and high winds that swept southeast Michigan Thursday Dexter and other communities in Washtenaw County.
A touchdown was reported in the Dexter and Pinckney areas northwest of Ann Arbor, said Marc Breckenridge, director of Emergency Management for the county. No injuries were immediately reported.
In one neighborhood, one home appeared to be flattened, while an adjacent home lost most of its roof and second floor. Houses across the street also suffered damage to their roofs and sidings.
Breckenridge warned that more tornados could be in the area’s forecast.
“We’ve had lots of damage reports,” he added.
Crews were searching the area where the tornado was reported, he added.
National Weather Service spotters also reported at least one tornado touchdown. “We’ve had several large hail reports,” meteorologist Amos Dodson said.
Bill Marx, head baker at Dexter Bakery, said he was closing up shop when he noticed the change in the weather and heard storm sirens.
“I stepped outside and saw the clouds turning around,” Marx said. “It was coming toward us. After it went by, it really started raining and hailing.”
Eastern Michigan University in nearby Ypsilanti also was buckling down for the storm.
“We put out an all-campus notice to students to take cover and a tornado warning is in effect,” school spokesman Walter Kraft said.
The notices were sent out via text messages and emails, Kraft said.
University of Michigan Health System spokeswoman Kara Gavin said patients were moved into hallways and window blinds have been closed in rooms. Some critically ill patients were moved away from the windows and would be moved further if necessary.
Gavin said there have no reports of damage in or around the Ann Arbor hospitals.