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Tornado Touches Down In Portland, Michigan; Goodwill Store 'Torn Apart'

PORTLAND, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A mother and two small children were rescued from a collapsed Goodwill store and two others were helped Monday afternoon from a damaged pharmacy in Portland, 25 miles northwest of the Michigan state capital of Lansing.

The National Weather Service confirmed late on Monday that Portland had been hit with a tornado rated EF1 with winds of around 100 mph.

Reporting from near the scene, MLive Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa said he witnessed what he said looked like a "brief tornado touchdown."

"The main drag in Portland was hit," Torregrossa said, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950. "The Goodwill — a real big building — the roof is entirely gone off of the Goodwill…There's a Rite Aid across the street and that had what I would call some moderate wall damage on one side."

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"There was a building just to the north of that; it looked like an older building…pretty much the roof was taken right off of it," Torregrossa said. "And what looked like an abandoned truck trailer, in one of those older building's parking lots, was flipped over on its side."

Torregrossa said he and his team, chasing the storm, saw the funnel cloud form south of I-96.

"It looked like maybe a...500-foot long path," Torregrossa said.

Denny Cunningham described when he could see from nearby at the Red Tomato Restaurant.  He said the whole thing came and went in about a minute.

"The Goodwill store collapsed. Directly across the road there was a nail salon that collapsed; and the building next to that, the upper second story, that was taken off," Cunningham said.

Added Brittany Clark, who works Red Tomato: "It's basically just like torn apart," she said, of the Goodwill. "Our store, thank God, didn't get really hit. Our sign is just bent in a bit, but everything around us is just terrible."

Ionia County Sheriff Dale Miller told WZZM-TV that emergency crews were dispatched, and it wasn't immediately clear if anyone was hurt.

Multiple downed trees were reported in the area.

The National Weather Service did not immediately confirm it was a tornado.

It happened before 3:30 p.m. Monday, as the storm front was making its way west toward metro Detroit.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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