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Gov. Whitmer declares state of emergency in SW Michigan following severe weather, tornadoes

Severe storm, tornado strike Southwest Michigan, causing damage
Severe storm, tornado strike Southwest Michigan, causing damage 00:47

(CBS DETROIT) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Branch and Cass counties following a severe storm and tornadoes.

Officials say the declaration allows for all state resources to be available with local response and recovery efforts in the areas. 

It also authorizes the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts in conjunction with local agencies.

"My heart goes out to all those impacted by tonight's severe weather in southwest Michigan," Whitmer said in a statement. "State and local emergency teams are on the ground and working together to assist Michiganders. I've declared a state of emergency to ensure resources are expedited to the area and activated our State Emergency Operations Center. We will continue monitoring the situation and coordinating efforts overnight. I want to thank all the first responders working hard to keep Michiganders safe. We'll get through this together."  

The National Weather Service confirmed that at least two tornadoes struck Southwest Michigan. A tornado also damaged a FedEx facility in Portage.

Authorities reported downed power lines and trees throughout the counties.

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