Tornadoes in South East MichiganMonday, May 21, 2012 By Savannah Olesky
This spring, in southeast Michigan, there have already been many tornado scares due to weather changing drastically in a short period of time. According to the National Weather Service, during the first week of March 2012, there were 440 tornado warnings issued, and 39 people were killed within five states alone. It is said by tornado-facts.com that three out of four tornados in the world will occur in the United States, and dozens of Americans will be killed by them yearly. Averages of tornadoes per year range from one in Hawaii to 155 in Texas. Most tornadoes occur in mid-America, in states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Ohio. Michigan is on the lower end of the charts with an average of about 16 tornadoes per year. So far in the spring of 2012, there have been 10 tornadoes reported in Michigan. Tornadoes are most likely to happen in June, July or August, during evening hours in southeast Michigan. The last tornado to hit near Saint Clair Shores, Michigan was in summer of 2010; there were no deaths or injuries. Since 1950 there have been 239 deaths from tornados in Michigan. In the Saint Clair Shores area, there were 23 deaths and over 200 injuries due to a tornado in 1965. This tornado caused the most damage ever in the Shores; it was 833 yards wide and 3.30 miles long. On Thursday, March 15 th , a 10 mile long, 135mph, tornado destroyed 13 houses and damaged over 100 in Dexter, Michigan. According to Loren Yates, Fire Chief of Dexter, there were no serious injuries. "We're confident that we're not missing anybody," Yates told USA today. Jack Davidson, Dexter resident, said that he herd the warning sirens go off while watching television and he headed straight to his basement. There was no damage done to Davidson’s home. He said that any damage nearby was not noticeable at first, but as he looked around he noticed a carwash totally destroyed and much damage to a pizza shop. "I guess we were just lucky we were in the right spot," Davidson told reporters. Staff and students were also preparing themselves for the tornado on March 15 th on Eastern Michigan University campus. "We put out an all-campus notice to students to take cover, and a tornado warning is in effect," Walter Kraft, school spokesman, said to reporters. Notices about the tornado were sent out via text message and email to students, according to Kraft.