By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – At least five people died and hundreds of thousands were left without power when a tornado and severe thunderstorms ripped through Michigan on Thursday night, causing downing of trees, damage to homes and traffic disruption, officials said on Friday.
The tornado crossed the Interstate 96 highway to the southeast of Lansing while flipping cars, with one person dying and three being left wounded along I-96, the Ingham County Emergency Management said. Another person passed away when a tree fell on a home in Lansing, the state capital, emergency officials added.
Three other people – a woman in her early 20s, a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old girl – died in a storm-related car accident near Cedar Springs in western Michigan, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said.
The tornado with winds up to 90 miles (145 km) per hour ripped through Ingham County and crossed into Livingston County on Thursday night, according to officials.
“There was at least one mobile home flipped over in the Frenchtown Villa Mobile Home Park,” Steve Considine, a local weather forecaster and official, was quoted as saying in The Detroit News.
“We have been working with local authorities throughout the night to monitor damage from the recent severe weather,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in an online post on X, formerly called Twitter.
She added she will declare a state of emergency to help deliver resources to the affected areas at the earliest.
Over 460,000 customers in Michigan were without power as of Friday noon, according to the Poweroutage.us website. The number was near a million in the late hours of Thursday and early hours of Friday.
Deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms also recently hit the U.S. Midwest and South, leaving dozens of homes damaged and at least three people dead in Indiana and Arkansas in late June.
Dozens were left dead after storms and tornadoes ripped through Southern and Midwestern sections of the U.S. in late March and early April.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington)