Storms packing damaging winds spawn tornado in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Storms packing damaging winds spawn tornado in Michigan

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OWENDALE, Mich. (AP) -

Storms carrying powerful winds and heavy rain spawned at least one tornado in Michigan, knocked out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses and caused damage in several summer tourist destinations in the northern Lower Peninsula.

A tornado hit Huron County's Owendale about 6:40 p.m. Sunday, damaging the roof of a school and knocking down trees, the National Weather Service said. Meteorologist Steven Freitag said there were no reports of injuries in the community about 95 miles north of Detroit.

Crews were expected to survey the damage Monday and determine the intensity of the tornado.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, storms started around 10 a.m. Sunday and lasted for about 12 hours. Winds hit the Leelanau County community of Glen Arbor, where downed trees blocked some roads, as well as nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Traverse City -- all popular tourist destinations.

In Traverse City, where about 70 mph winds struck, a free outdoor movie was scratched. Paul Barbas, owner of Opa! Coney and Grill, was on hand to serve moviegoers. He told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that recycling bins, portable toilets and coolers were blown around.

"As you turned around, almost like a domino effect, it just started getting worse," he said.

Crews worked across the state Monday to restore power. CMS Energy Corp.'s Consumers Energy Unit said more than 130,000 were affected by Sunday's weather, with the most damage in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. Some of those areas may not see power restored until Wednesday.

DTE Energy Co. said about 75,000 of its customers lost power late Sunday and early Monday, with outages scattered throughout southeastern Michigan. As of Monday morning, about 64,000 were without power, including 15,000 in Wayne County and 10,000 in Huron County.

About 3,000 Traverse City Light and Power customers lost service and another 8,300 Cherryland Electric Cooperative lost power, the Record-Eagle reported.

On Sunday, the Mackinac Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas was temporarily closed as winds hit 65 mph. Meanwhile, more than 2 inches of rain caused flash flooding in places.

The storms caused widespread damage in Rogers City on Sunday morning, The Alpena News reported. Winds toppled dozens of trees, which landed on homes and collapsed a large tent that's to be used for the upcoming Nautical Festival.

>>Click here to see photos from the storm.<<

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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