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Cleanup underway after damaging storms rip through parts of Southeast Michigan

Cleanup begins in Southeast Michigan after damaging storms move through area
Cleanup begins in Southeast Michigan after damaging storms move through area 02:16

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — According to the fire chief, more than half of all the calls Southfield firefighters responded to on Wednesday — at least 91 of them — were storm-related. 

As DTE crews were in the area of Pierce and Bedford Streets Thursday afternoon assessing damage, so were crews at TRS Pros Stump Grinding & Tree Services doing their best to keep up with all the calls they've been receiving since the storm rolled through fast and furious.

"It's bad, big trees on houses, through the roofs. It's terrible," said Aoday Hirmiz with TRS Pros.

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

Homeowner Joseph Bochinskni says a branch missed the corner of his house by a foot. 

"There were a couple of moments where I wasn't sure there wasn't a tornado out here," Bochinskni said. "The wind was probably the strongest I can remember it ever having been. The power went out several times in quick succession. Luckily, it came back on. Some of my neighbors weren't so lucky, though." 

Aside from tree damage, downed power lines kept first responders busy overnight. 

"Sometimes residents go outside, and they want to check and investigate for themselves, and not knowing that there's actually a downed wire in the area. But you know, in a time like this, what's really important is patience — time and patience," Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said. 

Cleanup underway after damaging storms rip through Oakland County 01:58

The Birmingham Police Department said that the high volume of calls during a storm can overwhelm dispatch.

"It is helpful when residents wait to report minor, non-emergency situations, such as a downed tree limb with no injuries, threats to safety, and not blocking a roadway. This allows dispatchers to handle and prioritize serious calls for service," Ryan Kearney, Operations Captain at Birmingham PD, said. 

The storm swept through Oakland County around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, bringing powerful winds that Southfield resident Stacey Tucker described as sounding like "three booms."

A 200-foot tree uprooted and fell onto Tucker's home, causing extensive damage and leaving her family shaken but unharmed.

Fortunately, Tucker's grandchild wasn't home when the ceiling in a bedroom collapsed, destroying a bunk bed. 

The community has rallied around Tucker and his family, offering support and assistance. "I never knew people loved me this much," he said, grateful for the outpouring of help.

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