Kalamazoo County on High Alert as Tornado Touches Down in Portage

Residents of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, were urged to seek shelter Wednesday afternoon as a tornado touched down near Portage, prompting emergency warnings across the region. The National Weather Service confirmed the twister shortly after 2:00 PM local time, with reports of significant damage to buildings and downed power lines in Portage.

The storm's path remained unpredictable, and warnings were extended to Kalamazoo and Union City, where residents were instructed to take immediate precautions. Local authorities advised residents to move to basements or interior rooms on the lowest floor of their homes and avoid windows.

Early reports from Portage indicated that several homes and businesses had sustained damage from the tornado. Emergency crews were already on the scene to assess the situation and assist those affected. The extent of injuries remained unknown at the time of this report.

Power outages were widespread across the affected areas, and downed trees and debris littered roadways, making travel hazardous. Officials urged residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary to allow emergency vehicles unrestricted access.

The threat of severe weather continued across southwest Michigan, with the National Weather Service maintaining a tornado watch for several counties. Residents were urged to stay tuned to local weather advisories and warnings for updates on the storm's path and intensity.

School districts across Kalamazoo County announced early dismissals or cancellations of after-school activities as a precaution. Public transportation services were also suspended in the affected areas until further notice.

The American Red Cross announced plans to open emergency shelters in Kalamazoo to provide assistance to those displaced by the storm. Local community organizations also mobilized to offer support to those in need.

The Kalamazoo County Emergency Management Office advised residents to remain calm and follow the instructions of local authorities. They urged residents to report any damage to their property or injuries to emergency services.

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