On Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 10:30p.m., residents of Kentwood and Wyoming faced up to 100 miles per hour winds in what is being referred to as a EF-1 tornado. People woke up to huge trees through their homes, downed power lines, demolished vehicles, and flooding throughout their neighborhoods. Numerous injuries have been reported due to the weather damage.
According to Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley’s office the storm path was from 60th & Division northeast to 44th & Kalamazoo. The tornado started in the City of Wyoming on Clay between 60th and 54th.
This morning a Kentwood firefighter said, ” I counted 20 places that lost their roofs and a bunch of collapses as a result of the tornado ripping through the area.”
The City of Wyoming’s Facebook page states-“We appreciate the support of firefighters from Georgetown Township, Jamestown Township and Grandville, who joined Wyoming Public Safety officers last night going door-to-door to check on residents. There are still numerous live power lines down in this area, and we caution all residents to use caution and stay away from any downed power lines. Do not attempt to move any downed wire. Consumers Power is working to clear the area now. They can be reached to report a downed power line at 1-800-477-5050.
Additionally, Ideal Park, which is located in this area, sustained damage and is closed today.
Once Consumers Power has given us the all clear, the City will send crews out to begin cleaning up the storm damage and clearing streets and other public right of ways.
The Salvation Army and Red Cross are working to set up emergency shelters. While we don’t have locations yet, we will share that as soon as we are able. For updates, please check back on City of Wyoming Facebook page or follow us on Twitter (WyomingCityHall).
Right now the Salvation Army truck is on the corner of 56th and Averill street offering refreshments to people in need.
Kentwood Parks & Recreation on 48th Street opened at 1:00a.m. last night. The City of Kentwood and The American Red Cross are offering assistance to residents. They opened a shelter at Kentwood Community Center for those without power or otherwise displaced from their homes. More than 60 people took refuge at the center, sources told WKTV’s Citizen Journalism program. It is estimated that power will not be restored for days.
The Mayor’s office advised neighbors to check on neighbors and not to drive in damaged areas. Today, from 2:00p.m.-10:00p.m. Kentwood residents can bring tree limbs and yard debris to Kellogwoods Park. Residents should come into the park via 52nd St/Kelloggwoods Drive.
This is probably the most significant tornado since April 21,1967 when a classified F-3 tornado hit in Wyoming/Grand Rapids. 65 buildings were destroyed, and 60 others were badly damaged. 375 buildings sustained minor damage. A church and a K-Mart store were completely destroyed.
Photos Courtesy: Janice Limbaugh and Tom Norton