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Tornado Hits Northern Michigan As Storms Pass By

PLAINFIELD TWP. (AP) - A funnel cloud briefly touched down Tuesday in northern Michigan, damaging several buildings and vehicles, the National Weather Service said.

The tornado hit about noon in Hale, an unincorporated community in Iosco County's Plainfield township about 55 miles north of Bay City in the northern Lower Peninsula, the weather service said. There were no reported injuries.

The tornado was on the ground about 2 minutes with maximum winds of 100 mph, the weather service said.

Alward's Market in Hale had its front windows blown out and lost most of the shingles from its side and front overhang, owner Bob Alward told The Bay City Times. He said only a few people were inside the store at the time.

"It didn't sound that loud," Alward said. "I was standing in the back of the store with the door wide open and was watching it. Then I saw some trees start to lay down at the property down from me and knew something wasn't good. I slammed the door and by the time I got to the front, it had already passed. It only lasted 5 to 10 seconds."

The tornado came as a wave of severe thunderstorms passed through lower Michigan, knocking down trees and blocking some roads.

A funnel cloud was sighted in Ogemaw County about 11:40 a.m., the weather service said. The site was about 8 miles east-southeast of West Branch.

Winds gusting up to 60 mph knocked down trees, blocking a highway in Crawford County, the weather service said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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