11:41am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Tornadoes Destroy Scores Of Michigan Homes But No One Seriously Hurt

Here's something to know about Michigan residents - they are prepared.

A huge storm system plowed through southern Michigan yesterday, spawning several tornadoes and dropping large hail and quantities of rain. Six tornadoes blasted through Monroe County, south of Detroit, notes the Detroit Free Press.

But a real monster descended on Washtenaw County, home to Ann Arbor and the town of Dexter. A powerful tornado plowed through Dexter, damaging or destroying at least 100 homes. Annarbor.com talked to the National Weather Service, which called the twister "significant".

Frighteningly, it was on the ground for about half an hour, cutting through 10 miles of land. Even worse, forecasters suspect the tornado's winds were around 135 miles per hour; that's an F2 tornado on the Fujita rating scale, meaning rail cars can be overturned, light objects can turn into missiles and damage is considerable.

Despite the ferocious weather, no one was killed. Even the residents are calling it miraculous, given the substantial amount of property damage.

One reason Dexter may have avoided deaths may be vigilance. Washtenaw County participates in the SkyWarn program, teaching volunteers to keep an eye on the weather. Training is offered several times every year and volunteers learn how to spot tornadoes and other looming severe weather problems.

Numerous reports tell of residents who sought shelter after hearing tornado warning sirens. It paid off. Today, Dexter officials say everyone in the community has been accounted for, notes AP.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.