National Weather Service upgrades Williamston tornado to EF2

National Weather Service upgrades Williamston tornado to EF2

The National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids has determined that the tornado which touched down near Williamston Thursday night was an EF2 with peak winds of 125 mph.

Initially, it was determined to be an EF1, but was upgraded following a ground survey Friday. It’s believed that the tornado traveled for 10.7 miles in Ingham County after touching down at 9:29 p.m. about 2.8 miles southwest of Williamston and then an additional 1.3 miles into Livingston County, before terminating at 9:42 p.m. At its widest, it was around 500 yards in width.

“The tornado moved northeast from its starting point and onto I-96 where it remained for around 1.5 miles before turning southeast,” states the assessment. “The tornado crossed M-52 South of I-96 where it remained just south of I-96 until it crossed into Livingston County after Wallace Road north of Van Orden Road. The tornado briefly continued in Livingston County before lifting near Van Buren Road west of Nicholson Road.”

The assessment says that EF-2 damage occurred near and along I-96 with “hundreds of trees snapped, several outbuildings heavily damaged and a few homes having roof, siding and window damage.”

One fatality was reported along I-96, while officially there were three other injuries.

Four other tornadoes were reported Thursday in Michigan ; in Kent County, an EF1 near Comstock Park, an EF0 in Wayne County’s Canton Township, an EF1 in Van Buren Township and an EF1 in Monroe County’s Ash Township.

The EF (Enhanced Fujita) Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:

EF0…Weak……65 to 85 mph

EF1…Weak……86 to 110 mph

EF2…Strong….111 to 135 mph

EF3…Strong…136 to 105 mph

EF4…Violent…166 to 200 mph

EF5…Violent…>200 mph

Meanwhile, as of Saturday morning, more than 18,000 homes and businesses in Livingston County remain without power due to the storm. Approximately 17,300 are DTE customers, while another 700 are with Consumers Power.

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