Margaret Eblen was on the patio outside her apartment on Jefferson Avenue in New Baltimore and had just called her friend to see what the August 29 evening storm was doing in her neighborhood when the sky turned black.
The last thing her friend heard before Margaret dropped the phone was, “Oh my God, it’s a tornado.”
“Everything was spinning and the roof started going up and down,” Eblen said. “It was like someone or something was trying to rip her off. I threw my phone away and ran inside to grab my dog. It was hard to do. The wind was so strong that he kept pushing me away. It was crazy and it was screaming.
After going inside, she tried to look outside, but she couldn’t see anything through all the tree branches and debris flying around. When he finally stopped, she could see that a large tree had crashed down on the third floor of her apartment complex. Other large trees were uprooted, and one was blocking their driveway. Car port roofs were also crushed on some cars. Shortly after, she saw a Chesterfield Township Parks and Recreation truck and a crew with chainsaws clearing a path to the road. She also called her friend to let her know she was fine.
“When I was 9, we saw a tornado while we were camping, but it never touched down,” Eblen said. “I’m pretty sure this one did.”
According to the National Weather Service, the storms that tore through much of the Anchor Bay area near Eblen’s apartment did not include a tornado but rather straight-line winds reaching 63 mph.
However, an unconfirmed tornado was reported in Richmond, according to Michigan State Police, around 8 p.m.
“Richmond (police) requested assistance from first responders and soldiers in the area; County and local officers responded. Soldiers assisted with citizen welfare checks in damaged areas, blocked roads due to downed power lines/trees, and assisted in assessing the extent of the damage,” a statement from the MSP.
The Chesterfield Township Fire Department responded to 18 calls for help during a three-hour period following the storm on the night of August 29, while township staff worked with Homeland Security and Emergency Management Macomb County emergency services to provide accurate damage reports, firefighters said. a Facebook post.
By the morning of August 30, nine buildings were damaged, primarily along 23 Mile Road and south, and from Sass Road to Jefferson Avenue.
“Power outages were widespread in the same area and patchy elsewhere,” fire officials said in the post. “Many downed trees and branches blocked roads and wires.”
“Remember, in the aftermath of a storm, consider all downed wires live,” the fire department noted. “If you use a generator, keep it at least 10 feet from any opening in your home and have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.”
As of 6:30 a.m. on August 30, the number of outages in Michigan was about 382,000, with DTE Energy’s number of outages rising to 262,800, while Consumers Energy’s stood at 119,800.
In Macomb County, a handful of school districts that started school Aug. 29 had an unexpected day off, including Richmond Community Schools.
MediaNews Group reporter Mitch Hotts, regional online editor Stephen Frye and local editor Katelyn Larese contributed to this report.