Detroit-area gallery: Tornadoes wreck buildings, vehicles, power lines in Macomb and Oakland

July 25, 2021, 6:14 PM by  Alan Stamm

White Lake destruction on Pontiac Lake Road near Fisk Road. Thirteen more scenes are below(Photo: Twitter/Nick Dewhirst)

One minor injury and no deaths are reported from tornadoes that caused significant damage this weekend in Armada, White Lake and nearby communities, authorities say.

Toppled trees cut electric lines and fell on homes, commercial buildings, vehicles and a camping trailer at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in White Lake. Vicious winds also flipped vehicles and ripped into a Salvation Army thrift store on Highland Road in that community.

Wolverine Lake and Walled Lake also lost towering trees.

A separate tornado at same time caused damage to the east in Armada, a Macomb County township where winds were estimated to reach 105 mph. A third twister touched down west of Flint.

See photos below, including one from Southfield.

Both Metro Detroit whirlwinds, classified Sunday afternoon as EF-1 tornadoes by the National Weather Service, touched down at 7:54 p.m. The White Lake's first point of impact was just west of Teggerdine and Pontiac Lake roads in the western Oakland township. It raced toward Clarkston at about 100 mph before losing tornado-level velocity about three minutes later, the service says. 

An abruptly ended camping weekend at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a state park west of Waterford. (Photo: Twitter/Neil Cassabon)

Destruction includes "roof damage, garage damage ... and numerous healthy trees uprooted and snapped," the federal meteorologists post.

A house was dagamed when multiple pine trees fell on it, resulting in one minor injury.

Macomb's simulataneous touchdown came at 34 Mile and Armada Ridge Road, five miles east of Romeo. The twister ripped through Armada during its 14-minute span, causing "massive tree damage with uprooted and sheared trees," the weather service says. "One house lost all roofing, with the upper walls then collapsing.

About an hour earlier, a similar-strength tornado touched down about 10 miles west of Flint in County, according to the federal weather office in White Lake. At least three garages were damaged or wrecked, says a damage survey tweeted late Sunday afternoon.

Armada's storm sent large limbs onto a parked vehicle and into yards and parks -- "significant damage," says Mark Hackel, county executive.

"We're very fortunate there were no reported injuries and no deaths," he added at a roadside news briefing in Armada. The elected official praised township Fire Chief Chris Krotche's department for swift responses and helping residents out of damaged homes.

DTE Energy reports over 600 downed wires as of Sunday morning, affecting 133,200 cutsomers.

These scenes are posted on social media Sunday by state troopers and residents:

This office building was empty when 105 mph winds tore through Armada. (Photo: DTE Energy)

Wrong place and time to park Saturday evening on Fulton Street in Armada. (Photo: Michigan State Police)

In Southfield, wind gusts toppled a backyard tree off 12 Mile Road between Telegraph and Northwestern Highway. (Photo: Jeremy Miller)

A Salvation Army donation center on Highland Road in White Lake Road shows the power of fierce wind. (Photo: Megan Tarcea)Fulton Street in the center of Armada, a Macomb township. (Photo: Michigan State Police)White Lake Township tree awaits a chainsaw and chipper. "Pretty crazy how many trees were completely uprooted," @SunnyDani tweets with her photo.Megan Tarcea, a Northern Michigan University meteorology student from western Oakland County, tweets this shopping plaza drama.Another shot by Megan Tarcea, a 2020 Waterford Kettering High School graduate, who tweets: "It's not every day that your hometown gets messed up by a tornado."Armada Memorial Park at Fulton Street and Prospect Avenue. (Photo: Matheau Morrison)Battered Armada is a township of about 1,700 people. (Photo: Michigan State Police)Another White Lake wind victim, snapped like a twig. (Photo: @SunnyDani)Chief Chris Krotche, left, of the Armada Township Fire Department awaits the start of a Sunday afternoon media briefing with the county executive. (Photo: WXYZ screenshot)


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