SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (3/15/2019) - A review team from the National Weather Service has confirmed four separate tornadoes struck Shiawassee and Genesee counties on Thursday evening, causing widespread damage.
Two tornadoes hit Shiawassee County while two smaller tornadoes hit the northeast part of Genesee County.
The tornadoes followed separate paths and were created by separate areas of rotation within the storm as it moved northeast through Shiawassee County.
Large Shiawassee County tornado
The strongest tornado was rated an EF-2 with peak winds around 125 mph south of Corunna.
The tornado touched down at 6:45 p.m.near the intersection of Britton Road and I-69 near Perry. It was about 250 yards wide and stayed on the ground for 18.2 miles all the way to Durand before lifting back to the sky at 7:05 p.m.
The tornado knocked down large trees on Bancroft and Newburg roads, and also damaged 10 trailers and mobile homes in the Shoreline Lake Condos neighborhood.
It continued northeast to M-71 in Vernon, where it tore the roof off a building and caused second-story walls to collapse. Numerous other homes on the south side of Vernon also sustained significant damage.
Two more homes were damaged in the area of Bennington and Reed roads. The tornado lifted off the ground in the area of Riniel and Lytle roads.
Small Shiawassee County tornado
The weaker tornado in Shiawassee County was rated EF-0, which is the weakest on the Enhanced Fujita scale used to gauge tornado strength. It was about 100 yards wide with winds up to 80 mph and traveled nearly 6.5 miles in seven minutes.
The tornado touched down at 6:47 p.m. in Bennington Township near the intersection of Bennington Greens and Innsbruck drives. Several pine trees were snapped off in that area.
The tornado cross M-52 near Grand River Road, where it knocked down several large hardwood tree limbs. It continued northeast into a farm along South Morrice Road just south of Garrison Road, where more trees were uprooted.
National Weather Service crews say an outbuilding on the farm lost its roof in the storm.
More trees got snapped in the area of Vandecarr and Bennington roads. The tornado lifted back into the sky near the Maple River.
The first tornado in Genesee County was rated EF-0 with peak winds of about 85 mph. The 75-yard-wide twister traveled eight miles in eight minutes from six miles south of Flushing into Flint Township.
The tornado touched down at 7:09 p.m. on Nichols Road just south of Corunna Road and traveled northeast to Calkins Road just east of Morrish Road. Between there, it snapped trees and collapsed a pole barn.
It lifted back into the air in the area of Jennings Road and Pasadena Avenue.
Genesee Township tornado
The second tornado in Genesee County hit the Camelot Villas mobile home park while it traveled through Genesee, Thetford and Forest townships.
The EF-0 tornado with 80 mph peak winds touched down at 7:24 p.m. near the intersection of Stanley and Bray roads. It traveled along the ground for 6.5 miles in five minutes.
At least 15 mobile homes in Camelot Villas sustained damage, including one wrapped around a tree and a second blown off its foundation. Several trees in the park also were knocked down or lost large limbs.
After passing through Camelot Villas, the tornado continued northeast until it lifted off the ground at 7:29 p.m. in the area of M-57 and Irish Road. More trees in its path were knocked down or had their tops sheared off.
These were the first tornadoes to hit Shiawassee County since June 15, 2015, when an EF-0 twister caused damage near Durand.
Michigan has seen 48 tornadoes in the month of March from 1950 to 2017, according to the Tornado History Project. June is the most active month with 237 tornadoes.
The last EF-3 tornado was in Dexter back in 2012 and the last EF-2 tornado was in 2015 near Millington.