Storms Damage 2 Hangars at Michigan Airport

June 23, 2011

Severe thunderstorms in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula produced high winds that damaged two hangars at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, injuring at least three people, and left thousands of people without power, authorities said.

Members of the Civil Air Patrol were preparing for natural disaster training when they took cover in one of the hangars on Tuesday night, WOOD-TV reported. Gusting winds ripped a hangar door away, sending some of them into the air inside the hangar.

“It was a surreal experience,” said Andy Wolgamott, whose injuries included a gash to his head that required 17 staples. “The weather just exploded.”

The hangars were pulled off their foundations, WZZM-TV and The Grand Rapids Press reported. At least two others were treated at the scene.

Heavy rains also were reported, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said. Lightning was blamed for starting a barn fire in Ottawa County’s Georgetown Township. And a tree fell on a minivan in Van Buren County’s Columbia Township, sending three people to the hospital, WWMT-TV reported.

The Jackson County sheriff’s department received reports of a possible funnel cloud. No tornadoes had been confirmed by the weather service.

DTE Energy Co. said about 21,000 homes and businesses lost power in southeast Michigan following the storms, but most had service back by Wednesday morning, the Detroit Free Press reported. CMS Energy Corp. reported about 13,000 of its customers lost power.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.