A storm that slammed Southwest Michigan late Friday night and early Saturday led to multiple reports of downed trees and power outages, along with damage to cars and roofs hit by debris.
Mike Mattix, fire chief for the North Berrien Fire Rescue Department, said his department was consistently responding to calls related to the storm, until about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
The calls ranged from downed power lines to trees blocking roads.
“At that time the storm was going pretty good,” he said. “Everyone got reports from the National Weather Service for the possibility of strong storms. As far as estimated damage and loss, I couldn’t tell you.”
Mattix said Coloma Township, Hagar Township, Riverside and Watervliet were hit very hard. The storm, which moved east and also left heavy damage across parts of Van Buren County, produced frequent lightning and winds in excess of 60 mph.
Harrison and Hagar Shore roads had power lines down and a large tree branch blocking the roads. The Sarett Nature Center area was also reportedly hit hard, with a lot of tree damage.
Emergency responders barricaded the roads and continued to take calls, as the 911 dispatch center was lively Friday night and into Saturday morning.
Mattix did not know of any injuries related to the storm, but Indiana Michigan Power reported a slew of power outages to handle throughout the weekend.
I&M officials said the utility restored power to 20,000 customers who lost service.
Crews continued to find damaged equipment as they addressed outages into Monday. I&M reported a total number of 34 broken poles, including 22 in the Benton Harbor area. About 34 spans of wire were down, I&M officials said.