Tornado touches down in Colon as severe storms roll across Michigan

Storms ripped through western Michigan late Wednesday, taking out power lines and prompting tornado, thunderstorm and flood warnings and watches — and at least one reported touchdown — as severe weather moved across the state.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Sara Schultz in White Lake Township said it appeared a tornado touched down in Colon, about 30 miles south of Battle Creek, which reportedly damaged several barns. It also, according to news alerts may, have tore a roof of a home. The weather service is planning to survey damage there.

As of about 7 a.m., DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, the two largest utilities, said about 15,000 customers, 6,200 and 9,300, respectively, were without power across the state, but they were working to make repairs.

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A tornado warning was issued late Wednesday in Michigan for Branch County until just before midnight, and tornado watches for St. Joseph, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Eaton and Ingham counties until 3 a.m. The storm lost intensity as it moved east, but tornado watches also included Washtenaw, Livingston, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

A tornado also touched down Wednesday near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. It prompted passengers to take shelter and disrupted hundreds of flights. However, there were no initial reports of injuries, and the weather service said more tornados hit Northern Indiana.

By Thursday morning, however, the tempests had subsided, and forecasters said it should be mostly clear throughout the day until the evening.

"Today, we're looking at highs in the low 80s," Schultz said. "There's an isolated shower possible later today, but otherwise it should be mainly dry, but then we do increase in shower and thunderstorm chances tomorrow and into the weekend."

In addition, Schultz said there was heavy rainfall — between 3 and 4 inches — in Grand Blanc and Armada.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Tornado touches down in Colon as severe storms sweep Michigan