Sunday’s Storm: Kalamazoo Tree Branches Down, Power Outages
Statewide, more than 90,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power Sunday night due to the storm. Great Lakes Energy said more than 30,000 of its members across the state experienced power outages due to the storm.
Despite warnings about a terrible storm sweeping through west Michigan Sunday, the storm didn't hit greater Kalamazoo as badly at other parts of Michigan. According to Great Lakes Energy, Antrim, Crawford and Kalkaska counties experienced the majority of the power outages.
As of about 10 a.m. Monday, the Great Lakes Energy Storm Central map of greater Kalamazoo showed that about 10 customers were without power; Consumers Energy's outage map showed that less than 20 of its greater-Kalamazoo customers were without power.
The high winds were to blame for the majority of the damage, causing many local tree branches to fall, sometimes on power lines.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT FALLEN TREES
As of Monday morning, Todd Pryor, forestry supervisor for the city of Kalamazoo, said that the city is responding to calls of down tree branches in nearly 30 locations. He expects more to come in as the day goes on and people realize the damage. The majority of tree branches fell around 1 and 2 a.m. Monday, Pryor said.
If you have a tree or limb down on city property, call the city of Kalamazoo's at (269) 337-8731.
"We will only take care of [the city's] right-of-way trees," said Pryor, referring to any down tree or limb that's located in a city road, park or other city property. "If a fallen tree was rooted on the city's right of way, no matter what way it fell — even if it fell on personal property — we'll take care of it."
Pryor said that the majority of the trees damaged from this storm were not dead, but they had a defect and were unhealthy.
"If people take a look at their trees, a lot of times you can see cracks and defects," he said. "If you see something that worries you, and if it's on your property, get an expert to look at it; if it's on city property, call us, and we'll come take a look."
HOW BAD WAS THE STORM?
In Kalamazoo, the winds picked up in the late afternoon on Sunday, and the storm started around 11 p.m. with winds high winds between 40 to 50 mph, according to Nathan Jeruzal, a meteorologist with the NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids.
Jeruzal said the wind speed was strong enough to develop into a small tornado, but there were none reported in the area.
The Grand Rapids airport reported smaller hail — about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter, Jeruzal said. However, on the north eastern side, near West Branch, Jeruzal said hail came in at 4.5 inches in diameter — that's the size of a softball.