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TORNADO DAMAGES VERNON HOMES, BUSINESS

Reported Tornado Touchdown On Tyrrell Road
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No Power In Durand

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Students, Parents, Teachers at Bertha Neal March Is Reading Month Event Take Cover In School's Hallway
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Sheriff BeGole Makes Statement

Posted by Durand Now at 9:37pm 3/14/19

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Patricia Rothney captured this image of the tornado near Newberry Road, March 14th 2019

Students and parents taking part in an "Out of This World"-themed March Is Reading Month event at Bertha Neal Elementary School on Thursday evening definitely got an experience they won't soon forget.

As the National Weather Service warned residents of "a large and extremely dangerous tornado" over Durand at around 7pm, those in attendance at the event lined the school's hallway to take shelter, just as practiced during school tornado drills.

While the school's clocks stopped at 7pm when the building lost power, there was no known damage and no injuries.  Not so, just a few miles away, where a tornado damaged homes and at least one business in the Vernon area.

One parent that opted to leave the school with her child to return home to Bancroft when the warning was issued, made it only down the road before returning and reporting that a tree had come down and sudden winds had lifted her car onto two wheels as she was turning around to head back.  She told Durand Now it was one of the most terrifying experiences.

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The storm knocked out power to thousands of customers.  All of the city of Durand is without power, as are the villages of Byron, Gaines, Vernon and portions of Bancroft, Corunna, Morrice, Lennon, Flushing and Argentine Twp, Consumers Energy's outage map shows.  Some customers can expect power to be restored late this evening, while Consumers projects the middle of the night for others.  For some customers no estimated time of restoration has yet been determined.

Shortly after the storm passed, Sheriff Brian BeGole told media that the storm initially touched down on Tyrrell Road.  The storm continued in a northeast direction toward Vernon.  BeGole said officers, fire and EMS personnel are working together, grid searching a damage zone encompassing Morrice Road south to Lansing Road east to the Vernon area and west back to Morrice, and asks residents to stay off the roads and in their homes, especially in that area.  He said there are multiple trees in roadways and lines down, and noted that not all downed lines have been located.  So far there are no reports of injuries or fatalities.

A shelter for those displaced is being set up in the Corunna area and will be announced soon.

Get more Durand weather, including local radar, on our WEATHER page.

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